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From: Brownes3 <Brownes3@aol.com>
Subject: (whorl) Talus derivation
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 10:25:19 EDT

Talos as a guard has some appeal, but I don't think it fills the bill.

Wolfe is quite familiar with both engineering and mythological terms, and
capable of using either. I don't think he'd turn to mythology to name the
prime mover of civil engineering, IMO.

Further, talus deriving from Talos gets the sequence of events wrong. First
came the bulldozers that Pas used to create the whorl. Then the personal
armored vehicles turned up. People would have looked at the tracked vehicles
and thought they looked bulldozers and used the existing term "talus" to
describe the new guardian vehicles. 

Finally I'd apply Occam's Razor:  the "heap of rubble" derivation doesn't
require any change in spelling.

I hope we hear more about the talus in "Book of the Short Sun".  The scene in
Exodus with the talus makers whet my appetite and raised more questions than
it answered. 

How intelligent is a talus? As Auk said in "Nightside", it takes a lot money
to bribe a talus. They must know enough to realize the price they need to

What happens to a "paid-off" talus? I don't believe we've met any of them.

Did Incus (?) and his ilk graft artifical intelligence unto bulldozer-taluses,
or construct them de novo? Afterall, the yellow talus doesn't appear other
than in paintings of Pas creating the Whorl, and there isn't any new
construction going on, nor any clearing of the debris around Lake Limna. What
became of the yellow taluses?

Rich Browne

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.moonmilk.com/whorl/

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