(urth) Silkhorn's mission after BotSS

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 5 12:35:23 PDT 2004

I always thought of his leaving as a way to ensure that the man/messenger 
didn't eclipse the message. He was back, really, to plant a seed more than 
to fix all of Blue's problems himself. So I didn't really get that negative 
connotation in the first place.

>The relatively-new CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO SCIENCE FICTION includes an
>essay which dedicates about a page and a half to Wolfe's solar
>works. The overview isn't terribly in-depth, but I found it most
>interesting that the writer sees Silk as going on to become "a fisher
>of men" among the stars at the end of the Book of the Short Sun.
>This changed my view of the ending of the BotSS entirely. I originally
>thought it was an inexplicable and cruel abandoning of Blue by
>Silkhorn after saving some of his buddies from it (as in the
>traditional belief of the Harrowing of Hell). Now, however, I can see
>that perhaps Wolfe wanted it to be an optimistic finale in which
>worship of the Outsider will spread all over the universe.
>Sure, Blue is abandoned by Silkhorn himself, but there are still those
>who knew Silk, or read Horn's book, so they know of the Outsider, and
>monotheism might continue on, especially if (as Wolfe's Catholic faith
>would have it) the Holy Spirit continues its work eternally.
>Does the idea of Silk as galactic bringer of good news make anyone
>else appreciate the ending of BotSS more?
>Christopher Culver
>Urth Mailing List
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