(urth) Tzadkiel's ship

matthew at calmeilles.co.uk matthew at calmeilles.co.uk
Wed Nov 28 07:53:53 PST 2007

tonyellis69 at btopenworld.com wrote:
> The whole "The Captain says there is only one ship" business, on the
> other hand, has never made much sense to me, as we've been told of at
> least two different (space)ships previously. The idea that humanity
> forged their great space empire solely by hitching a lift on someone
> else's spacecraft doesn't exactly sound plausible, either.

Undoubtedly there are other types of space ship.  First (in narrative sequence) are the golden age of SF style ships the hulks of which form Severian's Matachin tower, the Witches tower and presumably the other "towers" of the Citadel - which is itself referred to as the "old spaceport" at one point.

Then there are the ships by which Typhon returned to Urth - which might be

Second is the ship that the Heirodules descend to Baldander's tower in although I seem to recall some doubt that this was a really a space ship.  Was it not implied at some point that it was a fake, or at most a tender from Tad's ship?

My take is that humanity undoubtedly made its empire "teeming among the stars" with ships that we'd deem (in SFnal terms) as very conventional while Tad's ship is a fantastic object being able not only to travel the corridors of time but also pass the boundaries of Briah.

Given the isolation of Urth from the galaxy it's quite possible that not only is Tad's ship unique in making the voyage between universes (and passing itself many, many times in doing so) but is also the only ship seen in Urth's skies for many generations.  Not a ship but The Ship.


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