(urth) note Re: Short Sun blog

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Sun Sep 26 14:30:43 PDT 2010

On 9/26/2010 6:10 AM, Lee Berman wrote:
> In Typhon we see a dried out, thousand year old human body, cells destroyed
> proteins degraded, somehow able to come to life, rehydrate, re-establish neural
> connections, organ integration etc. all within hours. In Tzadkiel we see the
> cells of a finger manage to re-organize themselves into heart, lung, brain,
> liver and bone cells and become a fully organized and integrated person within
> seconds. We have man-apes and dogmen and lord knows what else going on in the
> oceans and Baldanders labs and the witches tower.
> All these fantastic biological processes are casually accepted yet a slight
> protein readjustment in the histamines of a human-appearing alien by the best
> doctors of an interplanetary empire to suppress organ rejection is deemed
> impossible?

Typhon's resurrection by Severian is not reasonably believable as a 
biological process, and I certainly did not casually accept it as one 
when I first read the books, or the third time. But it is just as 
believable as the result of Severian's time-bending superpowers as any 
other resurrection in the books.

Tzadkiel's transmogrifications are likewise accompanied by an alien 
origin and a sublime command of time and space - it looks like seconds, 
but but it could be equally exempt from the plodding pace and 
irreversability of Briah's temporal arrow, as is spelled out for other 
processes in Yesod.

The man-apes and dog-men are just as believable as any other genetic 
engineering writ large. Baldanders's gadgets and self-modifications are 
pretty outre, but there is the requisite appeal to the authority of 
science for suspension of disbelief in those matters.

A nonhuman origin for Typhon or anyone else who appears basically human 
however, is without precedent or suggestion of possibility in the first 
five volumes, at least remotely close to the Urthly ages. If Typhon's 
"really" a space vampire, it's by retroactive continuity from the later 

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
Computational Intelligence Laboratory - Texas A&M Texarkana
< http://www.tamut.edu/CIL >

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