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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Generation Ships
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 97 09:18:59 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]


Not to blow my own horn, but I wrote _Starcross_, the Infocom game you
mention.  It was modelled most explicitly on _Rendezvous with Rama_. The
idea was that the generation ship was a puzzle posed by its builders,
and the prize was a star-drive.  Each system it stopped in had
"contributed" inhabitants.

Don't forget Damon Knight's _Thorinn's World_, where (IIRC) the
protagonist gets the chance to land the ship and doesn't.  Like _Long
Sun_, it starts looking like something very much else (in this case, an
Icelandic saga).

There was also the classic van Vogt (?) story where the home technology
surpasses what was available when the ship was launched, so it arrives
at Alpha Centauri to find a thriving colony already in place.


Those are great references.  I had completely forgotten the "Starlost"
monitors (no doubt Harlan Ellison would like us to forget all of it). 
BTW, I think Joe-Jim in _Orphans of the Sky_ was the leader of the
muties; the "normal" people were ruled by a thearchy.

The monitors also remind me of the "Mirror, mirror, on the wall" in
"Snow White" (not to mention the one in Vance's _Lyonesse_ trilogy). 
Recall that "glass" is an old synonym for "mirror." No wonder Hyacinth
got caught by Kypris; she's the original stereotypical woman who can't
walk by a shop window without looking at her reflection.

     -vizcacha (watch that 'z'!)

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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