(urth) note Re: Short Sun blog

DAVID STOCKHOFF dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Sep 27 11:27:20 PDT 2010

Another possibility is that Wolfe simply chose to ignore those complications. As an engineer, he is sometimes very technical---see the remarkably elegant explanation presented in this list for the Long Sun. But he is not really a hard-SF kind of guy, not when details might get in the way, and maybe especially in terms of biology. And he's never proposed non-carbon life or non-iron blood in any story, as far as I know.
Even if he considered one of those possibilities (we do know gene transfer is possible), he wouldn't put them out front. I suppose the inhumi do make it impossible to rule out any theory like that.

--- On Mon, 9/27/10, Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Lee Berman <severiansola at hotmail.com>
Subject: (urth) note Re: Short Sun blog
To: urth at lists.urth.net
Date: Monday, September 27, 2010, 9:33 AM

>David Stockhoff- Actually, the assumption that at least most life in the NS/LS/SS 
>universe has the same biochemistry. The inhumi feed on both humans and 
>Neighbors, for example. And then you have the alzabo.
Yep. And The Mother and Seawrack are down there eating drowned human sailors and, I 
think, Neighbor sailors before that. That's the picture I get from the Sun series- 
a galaxy of creatures able to eat each other and share their physical and mental 
being and existence.
Is this because Urthly humans spread out across the galaxy and mutated into a myriad
of creatures? Or is it because a parasitic race feeding on multiple species serve
as a vector for genetic sharing and splicing, like a virus for bacteria cells or even
oncogenes in humans. Perhaps some combination of these processes?
I think the suggestions for this stuff are clear to see in the story. Identifying exactly
which process created each superhuman character is probably not so important. Only the
possibilities matter, which is all I've ever argued for.
For me, the underpinnings of BotNS are as an exploration of the interaction between
pagan gods and Judeo-Christianity. Wolfe did this by creating an Earth twin where
The Flood and Jesus never happened, allowing the pagan gods to have continued dominion
far into the future of where we on Earth are now.
I'm glad Wolfe gave us various possibilities for the origin of such creatures as Erebus,
Zeus, Typhon, Gabriel, Odin, Arioch, Abaia, Tzadkiel, etc. But at the end of the day, for 
the purpose of this story, I think it is more important to understand what they are rather 
than where they came from.                           
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