(posted by Evan)
I’ve been thinking about the green text a lot, obviously. But now there is a(n) (updated) thread for that topic alone. But it reminded me of the green light from the phosphor lamps. Then, there is silver. The City-State of Texas is The City of Silver (Silver City, Texas); see the map on pg. 62. There was mention of the silver buttons that adorned the uniforms of … I’m not sure what it all means but I think there is something there. Youth and Old Age, perhaps?
All of the cities are named after metals. I just as vaguely connect this with alchemy, through the old adage about the search for the sorcerer’s stone, a cheap route to manufacture gold. There is no city of gold, ask Coronado. Alchemy holds a strong place in the novel, in the Auspices in particular. I’ve been waiting to see what all this obsession with bloodline was about, and at this point there have been some big reveals. Aunt Anne, an Auspice, guides Joseph Gray on the bloodlines of his daughter’s future husbands. So, then I started searching a bit on alchemy. And looky here:
There were a few differences from source to source - but you can see some major similarities with the names and symbols of city-states on the map of the Republics of National Alliance on p. 62. Note the symbols for the alliance is Earth in the alphabet below. Also, note that the symbols for Fire and Water, which when combined make steam, space vehicle propelling steam, when combined look like the singles units in the map of the Republic of Texas on p. 32-33. Also, I really think we should read Lizzy’s book rec about maps next.
Speaking of speaking in code, there are words that the inhabitants of the City-State speak in sign-language. Like the green text, scrutinizing which words they choose to speak silently seems to me important, or at least, fun to ponder.
'Follow' is interesting, because if you ask someone to follow you then you intend to reveal something to them. A revelation is like an uncarbon'd letter to the government from which nothing should be kept. 'Quiet' is similar. 'Morning' and 'Goodbye' don't seem like the kind of things you need to keep from recorders, but I can understand it one sense. If you don't allow the recorders to pick up on distinct beginnings and endings to conversations, then it is harder to be sure they have everything.
I bring this wild conspiracy up because the book sometimes drops you in the middle of a chapter of the Sister's Gray and when the story rest so heavily on family bloodline and connects 200 years of events and consequences, it seems our author likes stories without beginnings or endings. So this brings me back to the time-warp aspects of this book. If the McMarrow was reading The Sisters Gray when he was shot, hence the hole through the pages of the photocopied book, then he was reading a book before it was written. If the City-State is the book that was written in 1843, then the future isn't real or she predicted it, like an Auspice would.
The separate narratives of Henry Bartle, Eliza’s handwritten notes, and the City-State which is in third- person but relays the thoughts and feelings of Zeke, are too coherent for me not to discard my previous think that one of them could be ‘real’ while another is a ‘work of fiction’. The same goes for the Letters of Zaddock and The Sisters Gray.