(urth) An Evil Guest: gold hunting

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 10:17:13 PST 2010

> Another thing that bothers me about AEG is the initial premise. Why
> does the USG want to hunt down Reis? Gold, it's insinuated, is the
> reason.
> Why is creating gold a problem? I suspect we are meant to simply
> assume it's counterfeiting and bad, no more questions needed.

I thought the point was that the US government wanted his *method* of 
producing gold. For all the reasons you named, it would be a valuable 
But you bring up the possibility that the US government is waging war 
against the Storm King rather than working within the status quo.

> Here's another question: why do they consider Reis so very very evil?

Now that's a good question. Hearing Wolfe talk about Ries you can tell he's 
very please with him, and pleased with him *as a villain*. He said that a 
really good villain needs to be almost a hero but falls short. I'm sure 
Wolfe knows more about Ries' agenda than is in the text but I don't. From 
what I read, I can't see too much either heroic or villainous about him. He 
just wants to be the next Storm King. But Earth already has a Storm King and 
has for a million years, so I don't see that it is that *bad* or good. Just 
more of the same.

I'm no more sure of Wolfe's feelings about the characters in this story than 
I am of Gideon Chase's.

>And why do they
> not say who the other 2 evil men are, apparently because of Gideon
> Chase's presence?

Because they are Reis too, or so I am convinced.

> Why does Reis need to resort to
> rather intricate shenanigans to get the USN to depth-bomb Cthulhu
> without realizing whom it is fighting?

Based on "The Tree Is My Hat", I think the US government *must* know that 
the Storm King is there.

> Why, for that matter, is the USN out in that kind of strength? You
> don't send carrier groups or even a cruiser or destroyer out on
> lengthy wild-goose chases - and Reis implies the search flights have
> been going on for a long time. Reconnaissance helicopters or
> submersibles don't carry many depth-charges, last I heard, nor would
> they have authorization to use them.
> Another point: keep in mind that even if they found Reis's postulated
> master-stash, they can't expect more than millions or low billions
> from it,

Yeah, I'm not sure about this one. Unless they think he has trillions in 

> What are we to make of all these odd points - the pointless
> persecution of Reis, the peculiarly persistent search of the islands
> in massive military strength, and the rest?

The relationship between the US government and the Storm King has always 
been perplexing. It is in The Tree Is My Hat as well.

> They expected to find Cthulhu by finding Reis's gold not because they
> thought Cthulhu was manufacturing it - they knew Reis was
> manufacturing it - but they thought Reis was storing it there. And
> they thought Reis could store it there because he had an arrangement
> with Cthulhu: he was a cultist.

In The Tree Is My Hat the protagonist is a kind of ambassador or hostage 
sent by the US government. They know the Storm King is there.

>Perhaps Chase is #2 on the list! Using
> him against Reis would be delicious irony, and explains the government
> reaction to Chase's refusal/escape.

I thought of that, but if Chase is in league with Ries, why does he need the 
pictures of him? He suspects the photos are bugged but rather than just 
throw them away, he makes copies first.

> But who is #3? That's still a mystery to me. It could be King Kanoa.
> He is immediately subordinate to King Reis, and would make a natural
> third.

I believe that *somehow* King Kanoa is one of the Rieses. I can't prove it 
There is an extra Reis running around and it is fixating that he goes by two 
identities and Cassie treats those identities almost separately.
This reminds me of Garsegc/Setr in The Wizard Knight.


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