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From: Ranjit Bhatnagar <ranjit@gradient.cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Pike? Auk?
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:07:55 

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

Mantis, congrats on the good review of Q&D from the one
critic who really counts...

> Personally, I think the explanation for the appearance of ghostpike

I really like this explanation (by the way, to whomever
asked, I think the way we know that Pike has fended off a
demon is that Silk did it by copying Pike).  But I think
that another pretty good explanation is that It Was All A
Dream.  That entire passage is written in the same run-on
sentence style that Wolfe uses elsewhere only for dreams and
for dazes induced by fatigue, getting whomped on the head,
or overheating of one's central processor.

> Mucor (in the buff) in Silk's room and flies back out; then [thank you for
> your patience] ENTER PIKE, just like how Bustard wanders back from the land
> of the dead following Auk back, or like how Silk meets his four parents in the
> same way.

I figured Auk was just a bit delirious. Or perhaps Tartaros
implanted Bustard's ghost there -- no, Bustard appeared
*before* Tartaros, yes?  Anyway, whether or not Auk was out
of his head, Bustard was in it, not manifested as an
aquastor.  And Silk had a vision of his parents, but they
weren't projected into the whorl for him.  Maybe not the
same sort of thing as Pike's appearance.

Still don't see the connection between Mucor and sleeping
gods.  She woke sleeping humans by possessing them.  Wonder
if she could possess/wake a sleeping soldier?  But I don't
remember any hints of her having a rapport with chems or

> Re: how did Silk kill Hierax the bird.  Well, as I understand it, the
> bird's wings were clipped so it couldn't fly away.  As Silk was
> losing conciousness he managed to push the bird off the roof and it
> fell to its death.

Silk insisted that he wasn't directly responsible for its
death, even inadvertently -- maybe in its excitement the
white-headed one leaped up to fly at him, accidentally
flinging itself off the roof.  This was probably Silk's
first time killing anything outside of a sacrifice, and he
must've felt guilty about it, but later in his prayers to
Heirax the god he boasted of killing the sacreligious


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