(urth) "V.R.T." - April 24

Daniel D Jones ddjones at riddlemaster.org
Fri Jul 28 03:20:34 PDT 2006

On Thursday 27 July 2006 18:06, Ori Kowarsky wrote:
> On 7/27/06, Daniel D Jones <ddjones at riddlemaster.org> wrote:
> > I think, if one considers the entire book and not just V.R.T, that there
> > is a great deal of evidence that the abos did exist and were actual shape
> > changers.
> But only through the accretion of highly suspect circumstantial
> evidence.  There is no direct observation of any of this stuff.

Of course not.  It's a central issue of the book.

> If we use Number 5's family as a "control" against which to measure
> Marsch and his interviewees, we find that disinterested citizens of
> the Sisterworlds are either mystified or completely confused as to who
> the abos are/were or what happened to them.

Why do you find this surprising?  How much knowledge and interest does the 
average American have about the Native American Indians, who aren't on 
another planet and who didn't simply disappear?

> > > Please remember as well that Wolfe tries not to play fast and loose
> > > with the basic laws of physics.
> >
> > Really?  I guess I've been out of school too long.  I had no idea that
> > time travel and certain peculiar types of black holes and white fountains
> > and resurrections and all sorts of other things were now established as
> > part of the basic laws of physics. :-)
> I suppose I should have said that, as an engineer, he tries to keep
> his sci-fi logically consistent.

So he consistently allows shape-changers to gain or shed mass. :-)

> > > How long would the supposed abo
> > > "worms" have to be to contain the same amount of mass as the grown
> > > humans they allegedly become?
> >
> > Is it necessary that they immediately take on the aspect of humans?
> So you're saying they evolved up the species ladder from annelid to
> humn in one generation?  In "A Story" the Shadow Child describes a
> phantasmagoria of rapid metamophoses that seem to have more to do with
> an acid trip (or chewing on an alien plant) than what the abos are
> otherwise described as being capable of.

I certainly don't think they evolved in any sort of traditional sense of the 
word.  But I also don't think they necessarily underwent an immediate 
metamorphisis like a werewolf in a cheap horror flick.

And the Shadow Children are, at the very least, quite confused.  I suspect 
that their stories are highly distorted versions of reality.

> > > It, again, seems more reasonable to assume that this is a weird
> > > bigoted meme that has developed, either to dehumanize the abos for
> > > political, economic and legal reasons, or else to justify some kind of
> > > human-vs.-human massacre at the ford at Running Blood.
> >
> > It seems to me much more reasonable, if that's your criteria, to assume
> > that there were in fact abos who simulated human beings.
> How so?

It's the simplest and most logical answer which solves the most problems and 
leaves the fewest questions.

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