(urth) The Book of the Long Sun Question

Gerry Quinn gerry at bindweed.com
Mon Sep 19 15:12:10 PDT 2011

From: Daniel Petersen 

> I think I remember hearing on this list the theory that the inhumi (be it just Quetzal 
> or others also in addition to him) boarded the Whorl (presumably by means of the sort 
> of 'space-flight' they're described as performing in Short Sun) for the purpose of 
> reconnoitring a potential food source.  That strikes me as fairly straightforward and plausible.   

As I recall matters, we were told that it was the people who later became known as the Neighbours who boarded the Whorl as it approached their system, and infected it with inhumi as an experiment.

This works better as it seems unlikely that the inhumi could have flown that distance - they could only fly between the twin planets when they were in close conjunction.  And also they would probably need some sort of technology to get into the Whorl having landed on it.  Carrying a lot of equipment would have made flight difficult.  And how could they have hit it anyway?  The Whorl has little gravity to pull them in.  The Neighbours, by contrast, had legitimate spacecraft.

> Quetzal, however, is the mystery.  I honestly can't decide if he's sinister or sincere in his 
> intentions and actions.  Maybe he can't decide either.  Maybe he has lingered there this 
> long, using them as his food source, but also finding himself caught up in their politics 
> and drama with some genuine concern.  Indeed, the tensions in his character between 
> exploitation of and empathy with his 'hosts' is perhaps inherent to the form-shifting nature 
> of the inhumi.  

It is hardly unique to the inhumi.  The farmer is sincere in his concern for his cattle.  The slave owner may be solicitous regarding the comfort of his slaves.

- Gerry Quinn
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