(urth) Problematic element in chronology

Andrew Mason andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 1 11:33:39 PDT 2011

Gerry Quinn wrote: > The only evidence that it travelled at
relativistic speeds is the seemingly
> greater passage of time on Urth since the launch.  In BotNS, Severian gives
> the impression that Typhon lived at least 1000 years ago (though it's a bit
> vague, and people of that era are vague about time anyway).  In the Short
> Sun trilogy, Rigoglio also gives us the impression that much longer than 350
> years has passed at Nessus - it feels like up to 2000 years.
> I would argue that one possible reading is indeed that only 350 years passed
> on Urth - that is time for a lot of history, and nobody really comes out and
> gives an exact time except maybe Cyriaca says 'chiliads' once.  But on Urth
> maybe they say 'chiliads' like we say 'yonks'.  This would solve a couple of
> physics issues.

There is actually one other way of reading it; suppose that Marble is
right when she says the decimal point has been misplaced, and the
Whorl has actually been travelling for 3000 years. That way we can
overcome a lot of problems - the Whorl has moved relatively slowly,
and has gone a relatively short distance from Urth; time has passed at
the same rate on Urth and on the Whorl, and there are 3000 years
between Typhon and Severian, which looks fairly plausible.

I don't actually believe this, because I can't see any reason why
everyone else on the Whorl would be mistaken. But it's a weird
passage, which it would be nice to accommodate in some way.

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