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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) Inhumi (RTTW spoilers)
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 13:41:44 +0000

on 2/11/01 5:03 PM, Dave Lebling at dlebling@shore.net wrote:

> 6) The Secret of the Inhumi. I feel a little let down here. We figured this
> one out in book one. It doesn't live up to some of the remarks made about it
> by Horn himself. As we've pointed out, how would humanity in general knowing
> the secret hurt the inhumi? Why would the inhumi care one way or another if
> the secret came out? It's so terrible that Nettle has to leave Blue because
> Silk tells it to her. Why? What possible defense against the inhumi does
> knowing the secret enable?

I agree; it's both an anticlimax itself and inconsistent with some of Horn's
earlier statements (I catalogued these in posts on July 25 and Aug. 2 of
last year).  I was also disappointed with the lack of resolution of the
human-inhumi conflict.  I wasn't expecting Horn to lead the way to
brotherhood between humans and inhumi, but I thought he would find either
some kind of modus vivendi, or else some way to defeat the inhumi without
violating his oath (I was expecting this to be his "historical role," in the
same way that bringing the New Sun was Severian's and facilitating the
exodus was Silk's).  Instead the whole human-inhumi isse is just left up in
the air (along with some other subplots).

While I'm at it, another question about inhumi, deriving from IGJ but given
added point by the revelations of RTTW.  At the end of Chapter 23, after
"Horn" has finished explaining to Hide that the inhumi derived their
intelligence from humans, as they had earlier from the Neighbors, Hide asks
what happened to the inhumi once the Neighbors on Blue had been hunted to
the point where it was no longer worthwhile for the inhumi to fly from
Green.  Horn says "'I think you know,'" and the chapter ends.  What does he
mean?  I can think of two possibilities:  One is that the inhumi enslaved
the Neighbors who had travelled to Green, as they do the humans; but since
the Neighbors can "go away," I'm not sure how this would work. The other,
which follows more logically from the discussion, is that the inhumi
reverted back to beasts.  But this would mean that, in introducing inhumi to
the Whorl, the Neighbors were actually creating the inhumi as a threat for
humans, by restoring their intelligence.


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