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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Mother Godspeak
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 13:53:26 

<What the Greater Scylla taught Horn was how to summon the Mother, as Alex
David Groce says.>

Adam and Alex:

All right, let me try to state this as simply as I can.

Call me an ignoramus* by default, but I still do not understand how the
Greater Scylla of Urth knows how to summon the Mother of Blue  _in any

We're all of us a little chagrined, I believe, by the use of coinicidences
in Wolfe's fiction--e.g., Horn randomly picking to disinter Jahlee, who just
happens to be the mother of Krait. Such coincidences seem unnatural and
forced when confined to a small enough (relative scale) venue like an entire
planet. But to have the Whorl travel over 300 years, put into orbit around
twin planets, land colonists, and then learn that one of the indigenous
goddesses of Blue can be summoned by a sea monster from the Whorl's original
point of destination seems more than a little incredible to me. Ditto for
the Mother's matching retinue of sirens, underwater boats, and "feignings."
Is she, like the Scylla of Urth, plotting to take over Blue? Seems like
rather a poor choice given the the Neighbor's abandonment of the planet, and
certainly the Whorl colonists do not seem like any rich prize. So why is she
still hanging around? Yes, I suppose it's possible that all these various
alien beings speak a kind of space esperanto, as Alex suggests, but this
seems to me a little bit like Star Trek, where everybody except the Klingons
speak English. And I don't really see any evidence for it.

Now if Horn had employed his ring to summon up a few of his Neighbor
friends, and they told him how to summon the Mother, that I would buy; but
to have Horn make the astral journey back to Urth, however many
light-or-dream years away it is, and then be told by Greater Scylla how to
summon up sister-of-convenience-the-Mother seems more far fetched than I'm
ever going to be willing to accept. But I guess that's just me, apparently.

*Any of you Christian scholars know who once claimed that ignoramus was the
Latin word for agnostic? I've forgotten.

Robert Borski

*This is WHORL, for discussion of Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun.
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