(urth) note Re: Short Sun blog

Gerry Quinn gerryq at indigo.ie
Mon Sep 27 05:14:10 PDT 2010

  From: Jane Delawney 
  On 26/09/10 12:10, Lee Berman wrote: 
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?  Not impossible; just very very improbable :)

  Unless it is to be believed that all lifeforms everywhere in the universe share a common biochemistry, it's about as believable that an alien Typhon would be able to receive human organs (or body parts, whatever) as it is that a human woman would be able to bear the child of an alien being with copper-based blood, as occurs in that well known fantasy series Star Trek. 
Of course, it is not very probable according to conventional evolutionary theory (admittedly, Wolfe has a penchant for Lamarckism) that the native animals and plants of St.Anne would be edible to humans, or that humans would be edible to alzabo, for that matter.  Indeed, the alzabo seems to have evolved a solution which is radically more effective and biologically implausible than the transplantation of human organs!

Personally, I don't much care where Typhon came from.  I don't see it as important. He looks human (or at least if he doesn't, Severian doesn't see fit to burden us with the details of any horns or tentacles he might sport) so I assume he is human. Perhaps there is a 'birther' faction dedicated to resisting his rule on the grounds that he was not born on Urth, but if so I suspect they mainly object to him for other reasons.

- Gerry Quinn  
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