(urth) Looking for an Interview ...

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 08:33:57 PDT 2011

Nothing so emphatic. I think you are conflating two interviews:

    James Jordan: I might as well at least /ask/ one of the $64,000
    questions, so I'll just go for broke. (Hmm. I've gotta be very
    precise here. Okay, here goes:) Which of the following, if any, are
    physically (not in some merely literary or symbolic sense) the same
    planets as Blue and Green, in the same order?:

        Ushas and Lune
        Urth and Lune
        Lune and Ushas
        Lune and Urth
        Two Urths
        Two Ushases
        Two Lunes

    Wolfe: None.

And this:

    Nick Gevers: When I began reading */Short Sun/*, I, like many
    others, was struck by the new work's resonance of location with
    earlier novels [*The Fifth Head of Cerberus*; */New Sun/*]. Twin
    worlds, with respective blue and green associations: St Croix/St
    Anne; Urth/Lune; Blue/Green. Not that these are literally the same
    planets; but why this repeated pattern? (I should add that Joan
    Gordon, and I myself, have speculated on an allusion in */Short
    Sun/* to Kim Stanley Robinson's colour-sequenced */Mars/* novels...)

    Wolfe: At the time I first brought in Blue and Green, I didn't know
    about Stan's books. Nothing of that kind was intended.

    Gevers: [Trying again:] Can your readers usefully view *The Fifth
    Head of Cerberus* as being set in the same science-fictional
    universe as */New Sun/*, */Long Sun/*, and */Short Sun/*? Why does
    Fifth Head's pattern of blue/green sister worlds recur so
    tantalizingly in Urth/Lune, Blue/Green?

    Wolfe: I don't know.

When Wolfe says he "doesn't know", he is surely answering the first of 
Gever's two shot : "Can readers *usefully* view tFHoC as set in the same 
universe as Severian and Silk."

I simply refuse to believe that Wolfe doesn't know why the Blue/Green 
pattern recurs. And following this line leads to the conclusion that 
Wolfe is deliberately dodging the question. Two conclusions open to us are:

1) Blue is St. Croix thousands of years later. Problem: No Neighbors as 
such nor Mother make obvious appearances in tFHoC.

2) Wolfe has other reasons favoring the Blue/Green pair (it's not just 
planets), and explaining them, he thinks, would reveal too much of his 
"secret sauce".

J Wynn

On 8/3/2011 8:15 AM, Antonin Scriabin wrote:
> Hello!  I just finished /The Fifth Head of Cerberus/, and loved it.  
> It is one of the best science fiction stories I have read ... it isn't 
> very often I feel completely immersed in a world, but reading this 
> book really made me feel like I was wandering through some eerie, 
> mysterious realm where nothing was as it seemed.  Absolutely fantastic.
> Anyways, I remember reading in an interview with Wolfe in which he 
> said that Saint Croix and Saint Anne were /not/ the Green and Blue 
> planets in the /Short Sun/ books.  Does anyone have any idea where I 
> can find that interview?  Thanks!
> -K
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