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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) This little Piggie went wee, wee, wee all the way to the stars
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 12:34:03 

Whatever happens to the entity I see variously as Pig, Babbie, or Tartaros?
Given the multivalent and/or composite nature of many of the characters in
SHORT SUN, this may not be all that easy a question to answer.

Pig, when last seen (and when he at last sees us), is recovering in the
post-operative bay of the West Pole. Possibly, he is still aboard the Whorl
when it relaunches. If so, his godling status may confer upon him additional
benefits, as well as responsibilities. He might also join the newly-returned
paterfamilias of Mainframe, Passilk, sitting at his right hand as the loyal
son he has always been. As Pig notes earlier, "'Tis me h'only kin."'

But what if Pig/Tartaros has returned to Blue in Babbie form? Wolfe very
cryptically has Daisy note Babbie's presence at the novel's end with "the
tall, white-haired man Hoof and his brother call Father"; the hus, she tells
us, is carrying two sacks of supplies on his shoulders. But in the final
paragraph, when Daisy notes who's aboard the relaunched Whorl, she cites
only Silk, Seawrack, Nettle, Maytera Marble, and Oreb. Are we thus to assume
that Babbie never joined the starfarers on their new journey?

The answer, I believe, lies in Mucor. Babbie, when we first meet him, has
been given to Mucor by the captain of a foreign boat. (in my opinion Captain
Passilk of the good ship Whorl). Later, after he's abandoned by Horn in
Pajarocu, he returns to her, and after Hornsilk returns to New Viron, he
once again absents himself to visit Mucor's rock.

Then when we have the Tartaros angle. At Blood's mansion Mucor manifests
himself to the blind godling and he is stunned by her beauty. As he tells
Horn, "Bonnie she was, bucky. Beautiful ter me, ter auld Pig." Of course,
he's never seen another woman. (I'll avoid the obvious eye-of-the-beholder

So doesn't it seem likely that Babbie/Pig has gone back to Mucor, as much
the Odyssean figure as Horn and Passilk--only instead of settling for
Penelope, deciding to spend the rest of his days with Blue's equivalent of

Robert Borski

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