(urth) The Sorcerer's House Questions (*Major Spoilers*)

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 27 07:57:38 PDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM, Thomas Bitterman <tom at bitterman.net> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 9:48 AM, Gwern Branwen <gwern0 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The hound of horror would be very checkable, especially if the
>> archives really do bristle with stories.
> And it's the only thing the Compiler sources.  All small towns have ghost
> stories.
> Bax wove this one into his story. It's always handy to have a few true
> things in
> even the biggest hoax.
> If we assume the Compiler is not Wolfe that leaves the question of what kind
> of
> book this is supposed to be.  The Compiler is trying to pass it off as
> non-fiction
> in the sense that the people, places, letters and many of the events
> actually
> existed/happened.  The Compiler does not indicate that he thinks Bax killed
> George.  That makes this a colorful missing person story, with some
> questions
> about how it came to be written.
> First, how did the Compiler find out about the story in the first place?
> There is
> no indication that the story, even while it was happening, made much news in
> Medicine Man, much less the outside world.
> Second, how did the Compiler get all the letters he did?  He credits Millie,
> Shell's
> daughter, and Mrs. Pogach for providing the letters they had.  However,
> there are
> letters in the book that that group can't account for:
> - the letters to and from Doris
> - letters that were sent to Bax (assuming the senders did not keep copies)
> Bax knew about the story because he was there.  And he got all the letters
> because
> he either wrote them or received them.  He kept copies to help keep his
> story straight.

If the compiler is Bax, then why does he drop in quite explicit hints
that the letters' dates have been tampered with and that Bax may be
lying about how he obtained the house etc.? Wouldn't Bax just omit
those points or say 'I removed dates for brevity, like I edited the

If the answer is that Bax is performing a triple-fake, adding those in
to defuse suspicion that the events are fake - then I think you've
gone a little far down the rabbit hole.


More information about the Urth mailing list