(urth) 5HC question

Jeffrey Lefstin jeff.lefstin at stanfordalumni.org
Tue Jul 25 18:28:27 PDT 2006

I think this has been discussed before, but myself, I favor (a).  Just 
as Wolfe recycled aspects of the ship in "Silhouette" in Tzadkiel's 
ship, or the duel in "Tracking Song" to the combat on the Sanguinary 

In general, I think GW doesn't play ridiculously complicated games with 
us re FACTUAL issues (hiding Father Inire behind every bush, making 
everyone a clone of everyone else).  Yes, he makes us hunt for a few 
things but I think there are pretty clear lines between what is 
explicit, slightly hidden, suggested, and insolubly ambigous.  In my 
view, what world we're usually falls in the first two categories.

More to the point, GW writes LITERATURE - in the sense that characters 
and things are very often richly symbolic.  I find it much less 
interesting whether Valeria lives in a time-traveling building (not 
that I think she does)  compared to what she represents in light of 
GW's overarching themes.

So, if Blue = St. Croix and Green = St. Anne, what significance to the 
themes and symbols GW is working with?


> So, it seems pretty clear that Blue is Ste. Croix, Green is Ste.
> Anne, and that the abos are the inhumu.  What I don't know is which
> of these three hypotheses is right:
> a) Wolfe just really likes the idea of shapeshifting creatures
> becoming what they mimic.  So he recycled the central conceit from
> 5HC into the Short Sun books, but other than that we aren't supposed
> to see any connection between the stories.
> b) Ste.-Anne and Ste.-Croix are Green and Blue from an earlier
> universe-cycle, even farther from the eventual Incarnation and thus
> end of history.  Me, I'm not at all sure I buy the spiral-time
> theory, so I don't really like this one.
> c) They're the same planets in the same universe.  But in that case:
> if SS happens after 5HC, then the ruins on Green are explicable, but
> why are there no signs of prior human settlement on Blue?
> Contrariwise, if 5HC postdates SS, then why are there no signs in 5HC
> of prior human settlement on either planet in 5HC?  And who are the
> Visitors anyway?
> This also raises a troubling, to me, theological point, that exists
> in SS too:
> If the inhumu are merely what they mimic, and before the arrival of
> humanity they are innocent beasts, but after they bite humans they
> can in most essential ways *be* humans....then do they have souls?
> If so, when do these souls come into being?
> Adam

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