(urth) not quite Father Inire's mirrors . . .

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 9 05:27:31 PDT 2011

>David Stockhoff: But what is a sail on a ship if not a propulsion system? What good
>is a mirror that reflects reality without obeying quantum mechanics?...it follows 
>that Izadkiel's sails would or could work that way, but with a twist. Perhaps the 
>twist is simply that with 100% reflectivity---or, if you will, >100% reflectivity, 
>along the lines of "darker than black" and "whiter than white"---you somehow get more 
>reflected out than you thought you were putting in, thus also allowing an amplifying 
>effect between 2 such mirrors.
Some good ideas are being tossed around. David mention of the "darker than black" 
concept made me consider the (unlikely) possibility that Wolfe had anticipated
dark matter. Could the ship be propelled using that, somehow?
Thanks to Jeff for the clarification on the universe jumping scene.
I agree that Apheta's words were a good excuse for Wolfe to wax poetic. But I think
there is a certain Wolfean philosophical theme being engaged also. Apheta (and others
at different points in the story) is doing her best to explain things to a primitive 
beast in terms he can understand. It doesn't matter how accurate the words are if at 
least some knowledge is transferred. Sort of like a modern scientist being forced to 
explain lightning to an ancient Greek. He'd have to say things like, "to generate the 
static electric potential, Zeus must rub two woolly clouds together..." or 
something like that.

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