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RIP Gene Wolfe

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15 Apr 2019 17:26 #295541 by Da Bid Dabid
RIP Gene Wolfe was created by Da Bid Dabid
Sad news. One of the bests.
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15 Apr 2019 18:29 - 15 Apr 2019 19:19 #295543 by Frohike
Replied by Frohike on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
Such a loss. He was one of the greats, IMO, in a similar tier to Borges or Delany for me. Such a strange synchronicity that he's passed around the time the Notre Dame cathedral fell.

It reminds me of an old rhyme by Laurie Anderson:

When my father died
We put him in the ground
When my father died
It was like a whole library
Had burned down

World without end
Remember me
Last edit: 15 Apr 2019 19:19 by Frohike.
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15 Apr 2019 22:36 #295546 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
There is no fantasy novel or series that is as dense, hallucinatory, baffling, and utterly profound as the Book of the New Sun. Its understated revelations are mindblowers, the keyhole view of of its world never seems like it is big enough to take in its vastness.

The Fifth Head of Cerebus is almost as good. Maybe better?

This man was a real treasure, and a real rarity- a fantasy writer that was writing literature as good as anything else out there.

I missed seeing him at Dragon Con a couple of years ago, what a mistake that was.
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15 Apr 2019 22:49 #295547 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
Wolfe was a writer's writer, with a deft hand at prose. But I was rarely satisfied with the endings of his books. And now his own story is over.

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16 Apr 2019 00:20 - 16 Apr 2019 00:23 #295549 by Frohike
Replied by Frohike on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
I highly recommend Peace; it's completely under the thrall of an unreliable narrator (as usual, right?) and the genre is... something like gothic fiction. Don't read too much internet analysis or you'll deprive yourself of some of the "aha moments" that happen during re-readings.
Last edit: 16 Apr 2019 00:23 by Frohike.

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16 Apr 2019 07:58 #295552 by JonathanVolk
Replied by JonathanVolk on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
The Book of the New Sun is a real treasure. What other sci-fi/fantasy writer besides Wolfe (and Le Guin) managed to start AND FINISH such a satisfying, literary series? They happily sit on the same shelf as Proust and Ferrante in my home.
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16 Apr 2019 18:58 #295595 by DukeofChutney
Replied by DukeofChutney on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
sad times

The Book of the New Sun and Fifth Head of Cerberus are probably my two favourite novels (or sets of novels for the former). Soldier of Mist/Arete was ok. The Island of Dr Death and Other Stories and Other Stories is also pretty good. I need to read more of his other material really. I love the layers in his books and that he doesn't give the reader everything up front.

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16 Apr 2019 23:48 #295602 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
I also read some of Wolfe's more recent books a couple of years ago when they showed up at the local library. An Evil Guest has a very surprising plot twist. Home Fires was interesting. The Land Across featured a narrator who seemed like an amoral sociopath early on, so much so that I need to re-read it again with skepticism towards the entire narrative.

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17 Apr 2019 11:00 #295619 by engelstein
Replied by engelstein on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
Latro in the Mist is also great, as is the Long Sun series.

I am such a huge Wolfe fanboy. I was so saddened to learn of his passing.

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18 Apr 2019 17:40 - 18 Apr 2019 18:00 #295742 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
I think I have plugged them here before, but I love THE WARRIOR KING and THE WIZARD KING. It's like Thor's story told in medias res. It's not only set in a mythological time, it's protagonist experiences the things that make myths of men. He is confused and concerned and trying to do his best or not at various points and it's a delight.
Last edit: 18 Apr 2019 18:00 by jeb.
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23 Feb 2023 16:32 #338441 by Cranberries
Replied by Cranberries on topic RIP Gene Wolfe

Michael Barnes wrote: There is no fantasy novel or series that is as dense, hallucinatory, baffling, and utterly profound as the Book of the New Sun. Its understated revelations are mindblowers, the keyhole view of of its world never seems like it is big enough to take in its vastness.

The Fifth Head of Cerebus is almost as good. Maybe better?

This man was a real treasure, and a real rarity- a fantasy writer that was writing literature as good as anything else out there.

I missed seeing him at Dragon Con a couple of years ago, what a mistake that was.


Oh man, I totally missed this. I have a complete hardback library set of Book of the New Sun and also have the coveted single hardback edition. I could have put these on Ebay and cleaned up (checks calendar) four years ago!

The Book of the New Sun is hallucinatory and amazing. I wish I could teach it in a single semester. So much reading.
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24 Feb 2023 02:29 #338444 by Frohike
Replied by Frohike on topic RIP Gene Wolfe
I was introduced to Wolfe's writing in a college course (a Science Fiction lit class), but we used The Fifth Head of Cerberus. It was a damn good class, though. Probably one of the best I'd taken... Alfred Bester, Heinlein, PKD, Sturgeon, Pat Cadigan, Delany (Neveryon and lots of critical writing on SF), Lewis Padgett, Ballard, James Tiptree Jr, Joanna Russ, Cold Equations (Godwin), Heat Death of the Universe (Zoline). I ended up writing my senior thesis on SF.

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