Finally caught up with you guys. I've finished reading Silhouette and listening to the podcasts you've put out about it. Since you haven't finished the discussion, I'll keep most of my observations short.
1) The early descriptive detail about the "...flabby rats that sometimes spring across the compartment at night, caroming off the ceiling like tennis balls and squeaking like bats...," is great. It reminds us that rats have stowed away on human ships forever and we probably should expect them to hitch a ride to the stars with us, too. Also, it's a great little Chekhov's Gun, since it comes back near the end.
2) Why is everyone walking around getting all cut up on Neuerddraht? Tons of radiation (supposedly) and they are wearing breathing apparatuses, but walking around in shorts and t-shirts. Weird.
3) Another nice detail is that the smoke doesn't rise in zero g. It only follows the airflow once Johann opens his room vent.
4) Is the composer being sent to an "arctic labor camp" a reference to the USSR? This story was written at the height of the Cold War. This would have been shortly after Solzhenitsyn received the Nobel Prize for Literature (1970) and Gulag Archipelago got published in the West (1973?). I'm not a Solzhenitsyn scholar by any means, just did a quick search. I remember some of my aunts reading it back in the late 70's.
5) I searched for Heintz' quote about "Lying spirits...." but found nothing.
6) If they've been on the ship for only 17 years, I don't know how they've gotten to Algol, which is 90 light-years from Earth. I'll have to do the math on the relativity stuff to see if that makes sense. I assume Wolfe did some himself. It seems like a weird detail for him to not check. Assuming they are traveling at sub-c velocities, it's very believable that a couple hundred years would elapse (from Earth's POV, and yes, I subscribe to the Einsteinian interpretation, not the one that Heintz or whomever is trying to convince Johann about).