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From: ansible@cix.compulink.co.uk (David Langford)
Subject: (whorl) Bloody Hell
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 97 11:26 BST-1

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

In-Reply-To: <199707030407.VAA19754@lists1.best.com>

Peter Cash/Rock wrote:

> David Langford wrote:
> >...Like I suspect many readers, my reaction
> >when we learn that Whorl has arrived at what appears to the
> >same double-planet system as featured in The Fifth Head of Cerberus
> >was one of surprise (I think "bloody hell" was the phrase!)

Actually it was Alastair Reynolds who wrote the quoted lines. My own 
feeling was that it's just a bit of Wolfe playfulness, a sort of 
narrative pun (think of the thematic echoes running through the Wolfe 
Archipelago stories). For one thing, the shapeshifters in Fifth Head 
appear to be much better at seeming fully human than the inhumi!

You might be amused by this snippet which I just ran in the July issue of 
Ansible -- though maybe it's well known here:

> GENE WOLFE, some say, does not hold US critic Gregory Feeley in high
> regard as a reviewer. But it must be sheer coincidence that Wolfe's
> _Exodus from the Long Sun_ (constrained by a naming system which calls
> males after animals or animal parts) makes a point of dragging in a
> reference to a proverbially carping, fault-finding critic named
> Feeler....

(References: cast list and Chapter 6 of Exodus.) Just to make it perfect, 
carp do of course have these little barbels or feelers on their jaws.

For fairness I should add that Greg Feeley's reviews of my own stuff have 
been very kind....


David Langford

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