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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) Scyllas I, II, III
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 13:08:01 

Ian Smith having written:

<I agree that if it the Mother was just plain Long-Sun Scylla, she'd
probably announce it loudly and do unpleasant things to any humans she
encountered, but I love the idea that we could be talking about Typhon's
daughter here.>

<But why does Wolfe have two Scylla's in his stories, and why make the
reference to the origional Scylla in the glossary?>

Scylla I is the original biological issue of Typhon and Echidna, or as Wolfe
describes her, "a sea monster of the Red Sun Whorl." (i.e., Urth)

Scylla II is her scanned counterpart, the computerized goddess of the Long
Sun series. Scylla I, we may assume, has been left behind on Urth just as
Pas has left Typhon-Piaton back in his mountaintop citadel and she may have
entered into an allegiance with Abaia & the Other Dark Lords, who arrive
after Typhon's departure.

Scylla III, I'm proposing, is Scylla II made flesh again--that is to say,
recarnified in one of the special bodies (possibly chems?) Pas has prepared
for their eventual download once the Whorl reaches its destination. It's
been surmised that Silk has been engineered to host Pas; surely counterparts
exist for his wife and children. As for why Scylla III--the Mother--doesn't
announce her presence, she may be hiding from restored Pas, who, along with
her mother and siblings, she's attempted to kill; there may as well be a
struggle for power among the other gods and goddesses of Long Sun; after
all, they are the children, consorts and friends of ruthless Typhon.

Having Scylla be the Mother resolves another matter. Scylla means "she who
rends," so perhaps she is the true agent of Seawrack's armlessness rather
than Babbie. (I've learned to be skeptical of all unwitnessed offstage
Wolfean events that are reconstructed by untrustworthy narrators.) As for
why the Mother would mutilate Seawrack, perhaps she's worried that Horn,
like Odysseus, will be able to resist the siren's charms, and is therefore
hoping to appeal to his sense of pity. "Poor little crippled mermaid girl,
there's no way I can cast you out of my boat now," etc., etc.

And while I'm speaking of Seawrack, isn't it possible she's one of the
super-talents engineered by Pas? Scylla might easily have access to a secret
cache of them, and this would help solve the puzzle behind Mucor's long
swims out to her island, as well as the mysterious three fish that appear
when Horn goes down to the rock; both being uberfolk, they've bonded and
each is helping the other.

And lastly, from events presented in Wolfe's short tale of the Whorl, "The
Night Chough," there's evidence that there may be a piece of Scylla in Oreb,
just as there was a piece of Pas in Jerboa--that or she's riding him the
same way human beings and chems get ridden by Echidna and her brood.

Robert Borski

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