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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Wolfe's Answers
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 09:03:08 

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

On Sun, 15 Jun 1997 David_Lebling@avid.com wrote:

> Another answer that begins to itch a little is the one about valleys
> casting shadows.  I wonder if Wolfe is telling us that the Long Sun
> doesn't work in quite the way we have theorized.  For example, suppose
> that the shade is actually pulses of darkness that move along the sun's
> length, rather than a dark segment that covers part of its
> circumference? I find it suggestive in this regard that the poles of the
> whorl are east and west. If the sun originates in the east (Mainframe)
> and terminates in the west, we have a very earthlike sunrise/sunset. It
> would also explain how we can have true darkness on the whorl. Can
> anyone find any textual support for this idea? 

In Exodus, when the group is at Mainframe, it is revealed that the shade
is some substance that is created at mainframe, shot out across the sun,
and then evaporates.   So you're "pulses of darkness" is just about right

If you think about it, the only way you can have much darkness at all is
if the entire sun is blocked or turned off at the same time.  Otherwise
you'd have an effect like one of those halogen lamps that you point toward
the ceiling to light an entire room. 

And the way darkness is described, I got the impression of seeing the
lights of cities at night (like when we fly over cities at night on
Earth), not an entire hemi-cylinder of lit Whorl filling the night sky. 


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