I had a chance to catch your House of Ancestors episode. I don’t view this story anywhere as negatively for a few reasons. one involves the genre - this is an internal landscape - there is no consequence of Joe’s time in the dna building because it has successfully erased his need to enter and be fixed in the first place, like psychological time-travel magic. Wolfe isnt writing a realistic SF story here but a genetic fable. The experience still transcends time and fixes whatever predisposition to the death wish Joe, his ancestors, and his baby would once have had. wolfe has some controversial views regarding lamarck that the field of epigenetics (like environment turning on certain genes) has brought to the forefront again. if there is a reality to Joe’s experience in the helix, its shape has a weird resonance with his own genetic material, an imitation whose ”damage” fixes the problem in Joe. wolfe uses oddly scaled models as weird literal stand-ins for what they represent in his fiction frequently. there is definitely some genre-blurring in this tale that I think makes complaining about its unrealistic components a bit moot.
Hello, first time poster here. I have been following the podcast cover Fifth Head of Cerberus at work and in Episode 44, the Wrap Up, Brandon and Glenn briefly talk about Neal Stephenson's Anathem and how its use of leaves as paper could be a nod to Fifth Head. Glenn also says there are several Book of the New Sun references in Anathem. I'm a big fan of Anathem and read the Book of New Sun last year, but I'm at a loss of spotting the references. Can anyone help me out, or is this discussed in another episode?