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      CommentAuthorOwsler
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008 edited
     (290.21)
    @ Brent Wilcox

    That's what I loved about the books, that all this detail was thrown at us, a lot of it so nonchalantly to seem almost subliminal. The best writers can inflict a delicious torture (no pun intended) on their readers, knowing fully well they have an entire world and history mapped out, but giving us only fleeting moments. I don't know whether it's a sadism or a drive to inspire. Thinking about the story, the fact that we had probably explored much of the universe and yet returned could suggest that unlike our present state, there was a realisation we have yet to understand our own psyches fully enough to truly appreciate what our new technologies have to offer.

    Unless I'm simply romanticising and there were obvious signs in the trilogy that we had been devestated by the usual nuclear holocaust?
  1.  (290.22)
    @Owsler - The series takes place apparently millions of years in our future, when the Sun is dying. Mostly, it's just civilization worn down by entropy, but loaded with the kind of baroque details collected over thousands of centuries of sometimes-forgotten history, interrstellar travel, @etc. It's clear that some characters, such as the actual Rulers, and the curious backwards-in-time-travelling aliens, know much more of the Big Picture; but the everyday characters don't, they just live there.

    Wolfe's use of a quasi-medieval setting, and archaic language for what we'd consider high-tech devices (for example), creates a nice temporal displacement for the reader.
    • CommentAuthortulpa
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
     (290.23)
    I got a hold of the Long Sun books! Excellent. I started reading it, and I noticed that it has much more complicated prose than before.
  2.  (290.24)
    Expect more unexplained complexities and details... And the connection with New Sun isn't explicit. Imagine Long Sun as happening in the same universe (maybe at the same time as New Sun in a relativistic sense), with a historical connection to New Sun's past.
    • CommentAuthortulpa
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
     (290.25)
    Figuring out the complexities is one of the most enjoyable things about reading his books. It's a rewarding experience.
  3.  (290.26)
    Just picked up Solider of Sidon - which I didn't know was out yet.
  4.  (290.27)
    Anyone here read last year's Pirate Freedom?

    And I see he has a new one out in September called An Evil Guest described by the publisher as "Lovecraft Meets Blade Runner".
  5.  (290.28)
    I love Gene Wolfe, as does my fiance. He just finished the Book of the New Sun, but I'm a bigger fan of Wolfe's short fiction. I love the collection "Innocents Aboard" for the story "The Monday Man." I always describe his writing as "vague," but in a wonderful way. He never overdescribes. He barely gives you enough for your own pictures, and it is always an unreliable narrator. The work always makes you think.

    Also, the Soldier series is great, but all of the books end on cliffhangers. Fair warning.
    • CommentAuthorseverian
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2008
     (290.29)
    Someday soon I'll get back to finishing the Wizard Knight, but if you've fallen for the Urth/Whorl/Sun books take a stab at some of his other novels. There's the same feeling of sense of the unreliable narrator, but each is unique. in There are Doors, for example, you have to remember where & when you are before it looks only like the ramblings of a madman.

    I don't think he's vague but instead wonderfully descriptive. Read him with a dictionary nearby and keep in mind his liberal usage of christian themes. Actually, they're your standard toolkit of mythological themes but his version of them with his language really puts him in a whole different league than the standard fantasy trope.

    Another point to consider is his usage of short stories within the longer framing story; New Sun & Short Sun are nice example this. While recommending New Sun as a read to a friend I started musing out loud about a New Sun miniseries/anthology on cable TV. It would never happen in this world but I can dream about other worlds where it's possible, can't I?