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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@crossover.com>
Subject: (whorl) A couple of points
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 17:24:48 

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

I do not regularly contribute to Whorl, but I've been reading the archives,
and I had some comments. 

First, re: Seven American Nights and the egg: I believe that I have read a
description of Wolfe answering the question about which egg contained the
hallucinogen, though I do not remember the specific answer. The description
of Wolfe's answer indicate that he seemed somewhat saddened by the fact
that people felt they had to ask him; I sometimes suspect that Wolfe is
upset by the degree to which we the readers attribute to him both
infalibility and infinite cleverness. Generally, there are answers to any
question we might have, and we just have to ask the text correctly.

Second, I have a question about how long the _Whorl_ was actually in
flight, and have not been able to find any discusson of this particular
piece, nor is my memory of the text good enough to confirm it. Sometime in
the portion of the novel in which Rose/Marble sees the airship, she thinks
about how long she's been around, and comes up with an answer of three
hundred years. Then she realizes that she must have misplaced a decimal

Does anyone else have any memory of this? The dilapidation of the _Whorl_
is much more credible if it has been in flight for 3000 years. Certainly
the engineers of the _Whorl_ would not have designed a ship that would be
completely falling apart less than 10% beyond the expected travel-time of
the ship?


Kevin Maroney		kmaroney@crossover.com
Kitchen Staff Supervisor	New York Review of Science Fiction

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