(urth) The Ship

Gerry Quinn gerry at bindweed.com
Mon Jan 9 11:44:32 PST 2012

From: Lee Berman 

> The Ship may be big enough and all that but it is an unatural and unnecessary 
> addition to the story since a large body to block the sun already exists. When the 
> the white fountain arrives, it causes major cataclysms on Urth via "waves of 
> gravitation". Adding a moon-sized Ship to Urth's vicinity might cause similar 
> problems that locking the existing moon in place for a few extra hours wouldn't. 

I would say the opposite: stopping the Moon in its orbit would be a cataclysmic event.  And while the Ship is large, it is indicated to be about the size of an island ruled by a minor lord, which seems much smaller than the Moon.

> Further, Wolfe spends an inordinate amount of time adding a story component in 
> which Tzadkiel's ship parks outside the solar system and sends in a small tender
> to drop Severian off on Urth. Maybe he/she is just trying to avoid the  ship being 
> detected by Typhon but that seems pretty weak to me. As mentioned before, FB&O do 
> not appear on Urth at this time. They come later.

On the other hand, Wolfe mentions on two separate occasions that the Ship sometimes comes much closer in...

- Gerry Quinn

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