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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@crossover.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Impressions, riddles, etc.
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 11:49:09 

At 10:46 PM 7/31/00 -0400, Alga wrote:
>They are shapeshifters only to a degree and I don't think it's fully
>"telepathic." Remember three things: They cannot change their density; a
>careful upclose look, especially at their limbs and hair by someone who
>knows what to look for, will give them away; they are cold-blooded and
>cannot fake otherwise. 

Casting back, I seem to remember something in _Blue_ about the inhumi
changing shape to travel between the worlds. So they probably do *really*
shapeshift mildly. But I think the projective telepathy is real; Incanto's
discussion of watching an inhuma die indicates that there's something more
than just physical shapeshifting going on. 

That said, the projective telepathy is far from perfect; that's obvious.
They emulate their prey, but not well enough to fool someone who knows what
to look for. 

>No, you really can't say that. Horn had to clean the sewers, with
>thousands of people dead from inhumu greed. Unless that was a dream, and
>I don't think it was.

I don't think it was a dream, either. But I think that the inhumi of the
City killed lots of humans not deliberately but out of exhaustion--they
reflect the cruelty visted on them by the Vanished People and work (and
drain) their humans to death, but do not necessarily set out to murder them. 

>>I'd go a step further: If all the inhumi are treated as human by all
>>humans, they will *become* human. But I think there's one more twist
>>to the secret coming, and I don't know what it is. So far, Wolfe has
>>overdelivered on every promise of the narrative; I'd like to think he's
>>capable of overdelivering on the promise of the secret of the inhumi 
>>as well.

>I don't quite follow. 

I think that throughout the narrative of _Long Sun_ and _Short Sun_, Wolfe
has set up narrative expectations. He then, pretty consistently, has
fulfilled those expectations in ways that, I feel, surpassed expectations. 

Wolfe has spent a tremendous amount of narrative energy building up the
"secret  of the inhumi". I have a hard time believing the secret is
anything we could guess. Hence, I think that the secret encompasses the
idea that humans can rid themselves of the threat of the inhumi by acts of
loving kindness, but I have faith that it involves something much bigger. 

>But your second sentence has been brought up over
>and over on the list, and I still think it is too simplistic. So sue me.

You'll be hearing from my lawyer. 

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

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