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From: "Josh Levitan" <josh_levitan@hotmail.com>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v011.n006
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 18:07:16 PDT

Kevin J. Maroney wrote (quoting Alga):

>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.

But it's a mostly physical change.  Horn tells Mora (and again, my poor 
addled brain can't remember the exact passage, and I'm too lazy to dig out 
the book and get a cite) that the inhumi mold their faces like clay, and 
then use makeup and wigs to cap off the illusion.  That's a big part of how 
she can recognize inhumi (especially if it's a kid or a man wearing makeup). 
  And we get eyewitness descriptions of the inhumi changing their arms into 
wings as well, a definite physical change.  The telepathy, or magic, or 
whatever you call it, probably just rounds out the physical stuff, and they 
can apply that at will (like when Krait let Horn see him like an inhumi, not 
as a boy).

> >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 
> >>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.

I hope it is something much bigger.  Besides, I don't see how being kind to 
one another or to the inhumi would be a weapon "too heavy to wield," as Horn 
puts it.

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