Friday, June 7, 2013

Midst the Ruins of Fabled Toronto

Hiero's Journey, Chapter Seven

(For the previous entry in this series, click here.)

The seventh chapter of Hiero's Journey, "The Forgotten City," begins by briefly shifting our point-of-view to Hiero's companion Luchare, who is depressed by Hiero's capture and delighted when Per Desteen mentally informs her and Gorm that he's escaped. Gorm is puzzled by Luchare's depression, which suggests that Gorm, clueless about human emotions and motivations, is Lanier's alter-ego in this novel, and Hiero just his Mary Sue. (I'll pause while you go look that up.)

Meanwhile, Hiero resolves his fight with the giant lampreys, fending off one of them by jamming an oar into its maw.  Not terribly creative, but effective nonetheless.  He also determines that the Evil Unclean Mutants have sent three more boats to follow him. One of these manages to come within crossbow range before Hiero finally reaches the shore and finds a place to hide. S'duna, the EUM High Priest, sends Hiero a sharp but ineffectual mental death threat before departing.  I believe S'duna is clean-shaven, or this would be an appropriate time for him to twirl his mustache.

Luchare and Gorm find Hiero and have a brief tiff/early lovers' quarrel regarding Luchare's homeland, the details of which need not concern us here except to say that Luchare is apparently turned on by metis priests who belittle Fair D'alwah. The party then continues eastward, heading toward a point where they can cross the Inland Sea and explore the ruined cities south of it (so that Hiero can find his mythical computer). At length they reach one of the old Dead Cities* of the pre-apocalypse era, some of whose gutted buildings are still jutting out of the water, despite the atomic destruction of others. This seems unlikely – Hiero & co. reach the city 5,500 years after doomsday, and by then the metal supports for any high-rise buildings would have corroded through, and wind and water would have knocked down the remaining walls. But Lanier was writing before The World Without Us, so we'll cut him a little slack. When the chapter ends, Hiero & co. are building a raft wherewith to pass the ruins and then resume their journey along the shore of the Inland Sea.  

Coming next: The dating secrets of the Senior Killmen.

*What city this once was be I do not know, though given Lanier's predilection for Things Canadian I suspect it might be Toronto.

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