(urth) note Re: Short Sun blog

Nick Lee starwaterstrain at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 12:46:09 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.

Wolfe wrote about a species of mechanical life forms early in his career.
The story appears in the collection The Island of Dr. Death and Other
Stories and Other Stories. The name escapes me, and I'm not near my
bookshelf at the moment. Wolfe's written about non-humanoid, bizarre
creatures, but those creatures in the Sun cycle tend to have certain basic
similarities. I hate to use a Star Trek explanation, but the Sun series
appears to be set more or less in the Earth neighborhood, and the
similarities seem to be excused in part by this and by genetic tampering by
advanced races (gods). This is creation myth with the gods as aliens.

The inhumi seem to me to just be a sort of reverse-virus. Instead of them
infecting humans, the humans (or other prey) "infect" them with genetic
information. Blood is just the medium. Also, this idea that aliens could be
non-carbon based is just wild theory. We have no idea what aliens would look
like, and in all likelihood they are carbon-based because that's easiest way
for life to arise.
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