(urth) Short Sun blog review

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Sep 21 11:38:09 PDT 2010

>> Jack Smith-
>> " I think I've heard estimates the Whorl is at least 300 years
>> old. Typhon was presumably alive on its launching and is still alive when
>> Severian meets him
>> strapped to his couch. Quite a lifespan."
>> Isn't Typhon dead when found by Severian, who then resurrects him?   Typhon
>> seems to have dried out after lying on the cold, dry mountain for 1000 or
>> 2000 years (in contrast to Dorcas, who is soggy).
>> Since the Whorl has traveled near the speed of light on its voyage, time has
>> slowed down.  So 1000 or 200 years can have passed on Urth, while only 300
>> years have gone by on the Whorl.
> Gwern-
> I don't remember if our past discussions went into the technical
> details, but it's pretty unlikely the Whorl got any significant
> slowdown.
> Useful link: http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3aj.html#relativity
> Notice that to get a slowdown of even 1/3, you need to get up to
> somewhere around 0.97 or 0.98 _c_. Given that we're talking an entire
> hollowed-out asteroid, and one which needs to slow down to rest at the
> end... Well, the energy requirements would be absolutely fantastic.
> (And I mean fantastic as in, you'd better have an entire other
> anti-asteroid made of anti-matter for propellant.)
> Dunno if Wolfe took all this into account, though.

In the Urth List Q&A, Wolfe said:

/Q: About how far, really, is the New Sun series set in our future (or 
the future of the previous universe)? How much time elapses between 
Typhon and Severian?/

A: That is never specified in the books. My offhand guess is between 
1000 and 2000 years. I would have to reread the books with care to 
perhaps trim the estimate up a little bit.

However, since Dream-travel can involve Time-travel, all of this might 
be academic as far as the Rajan's visits to Urth go.


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