Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 11:31:54 PST 2006

On 1/30/06, Los Arboles Del Frio <losarbolesdelfrio at gmail.com> wrote:
> The Ascians are a resuscitation of the
> > "Yellow Peril" of the pulp stories Wolfe is generally revivifying
> > in the New Sun books.
> What other aspects of pulp do you think he using in his books?

Please tell me you're kidding?

Huge, Lovecraftian monsters under the sea, in caves, and
in the Antarctic. The fated hero with the magic sword who
rises to become King of the Universe. The whole "Dying
Earth" scenario. The mix of forgotten technology and weird
magic. Swords and rayguns, horses and flying saucers,
mixed on a single battlefield.

Need I go on?

Heck, even Severian's inability to stay dead reminds me
more than a wee bit of van Vogt's heroes, especially the
archetypical Vogtian hero, Gilbert Gosseyn.

Making it uh-SHAY-yuns is a way to dance
> > around being called racist, in a book all full of hypostasized
> > racial theories.
> I recall the conversation between Severian and the Pelerin's servant in
> which they mention that in the past 'the darker your skin was the more
> enslaved you were' but the books didn't seem to be that big on race to me.
> Am I missing something?

Well, one of the underlying theories, not mentioned but once
(and that may have been in one of the auxiliary pieces) but
clearly present, is Wolfe's peculiar idea that each continent
has its own racial "type," and after you've lived there a thousand
years or so your people tend to become that "type." Then, too,
there's the repeated note that the castes of the Commonwealth
have distinguishing physical features (including but not limited
to height), and Wolfe's own comments that _New Sun_ embodies
a certain amount of Lamarckian genetic theory.

Uhh... whatever. Either you see it, or you don't, or maybe you
don't one day and you do the next.


I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.
                        -- St Teresa of Avila
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