(urth) SS Matters Revisited

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 21 10:50:01 PDT 2005

Brian Lovely said:
>Has anyone worked out a timeline of events.  I found that this time, I was
>able to keep
>track of the different time sequences better than previously, but on
>beginning to reread
>the first book, I started becoming confused just where SilkHorn's time in
>Gaon fit into
>the timeline.

The Narrator's rule over Gaon takes place after the Narrator leaves the
Whorl...after he gives his eye to Pig (RTTW). Remember he got to the Whorl
by leaving Horn's body behind on Green (IGJ). And he got to Green with the
lander that left from Pajarocu (OBW).

The entire Short Sun story is written after the Narrator returns to Blue.

After the story has started to be recorded, the Narrator escapes from Gaon
(end of OBW), fights the war at Blanco(?) (IGJ), liberates Dorp, and returns
to New Viron (RTTW).

But as I wrote before, there are still some REAL puzzlers about the

>Why is Seawrack missing a limb?  At one point, I thought Babbie had bitten
>it off,
>resulting in some kind of psyche transference, but I'm not so sure of this
>now.  The Mother seems pretty powerful--if Seawrack is supposed to attract
>at least in part by physical beauty, why wouldn't the Mother completely
>replace her arm, rather than just cauterize it?  I tend to wonder if
>Seawrack's arm is missing for some specific reason...creatures with extra
>limbs, Seawrack with a missing limb...I can't figure it out..

Yeah. It seems there ought to be some point, thematic or otherwise. (shrug).

>[OBW, Ch6 'Seawrack': "Something climbed into our sloop last night that was
>neither a beast nor a man, and was not a thing of the sea nor a thing of 
>land, nor even a thing of the air like the inhumi...In appearance it was 
>like a
>man of many arms and legs, long dead and covered over with crabs and
>little shellfish and other things...I think it feared the storm as much or 
>than we."]

Oh. Well, the Narrator makes some suppositions about this that bring to mind
Baldanders retreat into the sea.

>I thought the broken dome on the island had most likely been a greenhouse
>for genetic
>experiments.  Possibly human/plant hybrids resulting in the
>Neighbors.  --The Neighbors
>would then be humans transformed to meet new environmental stresses.  Why
>then, would similar domes be at the bottom of the sea, as Seawrack
>[OBW, Ch8 'The End': '"I know of places in the sea where there are walls
>like those," Seawrack told me.  Her voice was hushed. "'Underwater' is
>what you say."']

Ah yes! And Seawrack is very uncomfortable in the destroyed dome on the
island. I have no answer to this one.

> Is Horn made part Neighbor on the island?  Or just what the heck happens
> in the pit?
>--It does sound as if he is killed in the fall, and somehow restored to
>life by one or
>more Neighbor.  I wonder if Horn's spirit isn't temporarily 'stored' in
>Babbie, while the
>repairs (or whatever) are made.  When Horn's spirit is being transferred to
>Silk's body

>(OBW Ch 16) there is some understandable confusion about who is who and
>where, including some confusion between the identities of Silk/Horn and

True. There is some confabulation between the Narrator and Babbie at the end
of OBW. I don't understand that part, but I think my explanation explains
more and is appealing on more levels. I wish I understood Babbie.

Hmmm....Here's a hypothesis: Horn asks Mucor to find Silk and because he
wants to bring him back to New Viron. She contacts him psychically and
he refuses to leave the Whorl, telling a lie that it would be "dangerous" 
him and Hyacinth for Horn to contact him. But Mucor is still helpful and
returns with a psychic piece of Silk and transfers it to Babbie. Then she
gives Babbie to Horn. Thus she helps Horn succeed in his task. That
would explain why the Narrator (who contains both Horn's and Silk's
psyches) is confabulated with Babbie's identity.

>If the Neighbors allowed the Imhumi to became part human in order to
>compare the result
>with the result of Inhumi infused with Neighbor blood, where are the
>[RttW, Ch11 'My Trial': (Horn is speaking) 'That is what the Neighbors did.
>Knowing what their own inhumi were like, they gave us ours so they might
>compare the two.']

(Crush smiles with satisfaction). Their Inhumi are like VINES. Note how the
on both Blue and Green, one finds the trees and lianas in "embrace".

"Green is a whorl made for trees, and Green's trees have solved every
problem but that one [the lianas]. One might almost call it a whorl made by
IGJ pg 17.

This also fits with the Inhumis association with Dionysus, the god of the

>Why does Horn's son see a Neighbor sitting on a "tree branch" when he looks
>through Horn's ring?
>[RttW, Ch17 'He Took Me With Him': (Hide writes) 'I held it to my eye...I
>noticed the limb of a tree floating upright to starboard.  The leaves were
>still silver and green, and the limb was so big it looked like a whole tree
>even though I would think there must have been a trunk floating the regular
>way since a floating tree does not stick up like that. There was somebody
>sitting in one of the branches, and it was one of the Vanished People.']
>If the Vanished People were dryads, why wouldn't the ring allow you to see
>a VP in a regular tree?

What makes you think it couldn't? He only looks at one. But there are
all sorts of hypotheses for why one might only see a tree's associated
Neighbor some of othe time.

>Why is the tree also hidden, and why is it sticking up out of the ocean?

How is it hidden? I don't understand. The Narrator says it was floating.

>I think much of this fits together as a breeding or hybridization program.
>The three
>races (Neighbors, Humans and Inhumi) are brought together to create hybrids
>that are
>desirable somehow to someone.  This is accomplished, in part by bringing
>the colonists
>from the Whorl to Blue and Green.  The Whorl is to be sent away with a
>cargo of pure human stock, presumably with the idea to repeat the
>hybridization in another 600 years or so. Possibly this is why the
>Neighbors have 'gone away' --to preserve remaining pure stock for future

Which begs the question: To what purpose? Especially since the Narrator and
Seawrack abandon the Green/Blue system (Bleen). Are you then in agreement
with my theory that the Neighbors had a hand in the launching of 'The

>Have the Neighbors really gone anywhere if you can find one just by peeping
>through one of their rings?  What is that damn ring anyway?  It seemed like
>Horn left it on Green when he was placed into Silk's body.  Then he got a
>different ring that seem to turn, over time, into the original ring.

Yes. Damn Wolfe!

>[An interesting quote from OBW, Ch5 'The Thing on the Green Plain': (Horn
>writes) 'If the inhumas' eggs hatched in our climate, would not our human
>kind become extinct? What tricks Nature plays! If they are natural
>creatures at all.
>But they surely are.  Natural creatures native to Green.  Why would the
>Neighbors create something so malign?']

Yeah, but there are also quotes that suggest the Inhumi were merely natural
creatures whose camouflage powers became malign in the presence of a 
race that preyed on its own species.

>[Regarding the gods hiding in animals, RttW, Ch16 'Hari Mau': (the Whorl
>crew surgeon M'to is talking to SilkHorn after the operation to transplant
>one of SilkHorn's eyes into Pig)
>'"...You know about the animals?"
>"What animals?"
>"Great Passilk is supposed to be mad at his wife and half his
>sprats...people say they've turned themselves into animals to get away from

Well, we know that and we know why. Passilk is called that because he has
required Silk's psyche as a patch for the psyche lost during his erasure.
But it is Silver Silk in Pig. They are hiding in the animals. Perhaps it was
Pas in Oreb during the Long Sun but it is definitely Scylla in Oreb when
they return to Blue (she sneaked in at during the sacrifice).

>Anything about the ocean-dwelling giants confuses me.  I still don't quite
>get it about
>Abaia and whatnot.  Was he just an alien who was scheming to take over
>Urth?  Where does the Mother (in Blue's ocean) fit into the picture?  She
>seems to be less malign than Abaia and his wives.  For one thing, the
>Mother seems to be involved in helping Mucor survive.  Either Seawrack or
>the Mother are probably the ones chasing fish up onto the rock for Mucor to

Well, someone like Mucor could be in contact with anyone imaginable,
including races below the sea:
Either those giants, or the inhabitants of the domes, or Mother, or all
three if they are one people.

>I wonder if Mucor is able to assist with the transference of the psyches of
>others--kind of
>like a human Sacred Window.  If she could appear to the blind Pig, she may
>have offered to release the trapped PasSilk.  She may also have been
>removing some rider from Babbie when Horn returned to Maytera's island with
>her eye.  ...either Echidna, some part of Echidna, or even part of
>herself...a sort of recording mechanism by which Mucor could plant part of
>herself, then retrieve it later and access its memory.

Well, if she is not limited by time then she can simply access that time to
retrieve whatever part of herself she wants.

>In Rttw, Ch1 'The Bloodstained Men', Hide tells Horn about a dream.  Hide
>has dreamed, among other things, that he hides under a multi-legged couch
>and discovers that a girl is already hiding there.  Hiding under a
>multi-legged thing sounds like hiding in spirit inside a hus, but who is
>the girl?  Hide never says.

I'm pretty sure that is the inhuma Fava who did not return to her body after 
traveling and has retreated to the world of dreams. Doesn't he see her later
in a dream playing hide and seek with Mora?

~ Crush

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