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Encyclopedia > Gene Wolfe
Gene Wolfe

Born May 7, 1931 (1931-05-07) (age 77)
New York City
Occupation Novelist, Short story writer
Nationality United States
Genres Fantasy, Science Fiction

Gene Wolfe (born May 7, 1931, New York, New York) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is noted for his dense, allusion-rich prose as well as the strong influence of his Catholic faith, which he adopted after marrying a Catholic. He is a prolific short story writer as well as a novelist, and has won the Nebula Award and World Fantasy Award twice each, the Campbell Memorial Award, and the Locus Award four times. He has also been nominated for the Hugo Award multiple times. In 1996, Wolfe was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the state of New York and the entire United States. ... This article is about work. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... This article is in need of attention. ... In English usage, nationality is the legal relationship between a person and a country. ... A literary genre is one of the divisions of literature into genres according to particular criteria such as literary technique, tone, or content. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... John Holbrook Vance (born August 28, 1916 in San Francisco, California) is generally described as an American fantasy and science fiction author, though Vance himself has reportedly objected to such labels. ... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874–June 14, 1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. ... Borges redirects here. ... This page is about the novelist. ... Proust redirects here. ... Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. ... The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll (), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... Neil Richard Gaiman (IPA: ) (born November 10, 1960[2]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... China Tom Mi ville (born September 6, 1972) is a British writer of fantastic fiction. ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the state of New York and the entire United States. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... This article is in need of attention. ... For other uses, see Novel (disambiguation). ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... First awarded in 1975, the World Fantasy Awards are handed out annually at the World Fantasy Convention (WFC) to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy. ... The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazines annual readers poll, which was established in the early 70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ...


Wolfe was Guest of Honor at Aussiecon Two, the 43rd World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne, Australia, in 1985. The 43rd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Aussiecon Two, was held 22 – 26 August 1985 at the Southern Cross, Victoria, and Sheraton Hotels in Melbourne, Australia. ...


While attending Texas A&M University Wolfe published his first speculative fiction in The Commentator, a student literary journal. Wolfe dropped out during his junior year, and was drafted to fight in the Korean War.[1] After returning to the United States he became an industrial engineer, receiving his degree from the University of Houston. For many years he edited the engineering review Plant Engineering, before retiring to write full-time. One little-known engineering achievement of Wolfe's is a contribution to the development of the mass production machine used to make Pringles potato chips, specifically the part which cooks the chips.[2] He now lives in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Texas A&M University redirects here. ... Belligerents United Nations: Republic of Korea Australia Belgium Canada Colombia Ethiopia France Greece Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Philippines South Africa Thailand Turkey United Kingdom United States Naval Support and Military Servicing/Repairs: Japan Medical staff: Denmark Italy Norway India Sweden DPR Korea PR China Soviet Union Commanders Syngman Rhee Chung... For other system schools, see University of Houston System. ... Pringles are a brand of potato snacks produced by Procter & Gamble. ... Incorporated Village in 1865. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ...


Wolfe is possibly a distant relative of author Thomas Wolfe.[1] Photo by Carl Van Vechten For the contemporary author and journalist, see Tom Wolfe Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) was an important American novelist of the 20th century. ...

Contents

Works

Wolfe's best-known and most highly regarded work is the multi-volume novel The Book of the New Sun. Set in a bleak, distant future (similar to that of Jack Vance's Dying Earth series, which Wolfe has acknowledged as an influence), the story details the life of Severian, an apprentice torturer, exiled from his guild for showing compassion to one of the condemned, as he rises to power. The novel is composed of the volumes The Shadow of the Torturer (1980), The Claw of the Conciliator (1981, winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel), The Sword of the Lictor (1982), and The Citadel of the Autarch (1983). A coda, The Urth of the New Sun (1987), wraps up some loose ends but is generally considered a separate work. Several Wolfe essays about the writing of The Book of the New Sun were published in The Castle of the Otter (1982; the title refers to a misprint of the fourth book's title in Locus magazine). The Book of the New Sun is a novel in four parts written by science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe. ... John Holbrook Vance (born August 28, 1916 in San Francisco, California) is generally described as an American fantasy and science fiction author, though Vance himself has reportedly objected to such labels. ... Dying Earth is a series of fantasy books by Jack Vance. ... Severian is the narrator and main character of Gene Wolfes four-volume novel, The Book of the New Sun as well as its follow-up work, The Urth of the New Sun. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... AUGUST 25 1981 US Marine Sean Vance is Born on the 25th of August {ear nav|1981}} Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... For the Jimi Hendrix song, see 1983. ... The Urth of the New Sun is a 1987 science fiction novel by Gene Wolfe that serves as a sort of coda to his 4-volume Book of the New Sun series. ... This article is about the year 1987. ... When Gene Wolfe finished the third volume of his The Book of the New Sun heroic fantasy epic, fans of the series began clamoring almost immediately for the fourth and final book in the tetralogy. ... Locus Magazine is subtitled The Magazine Of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field. It reports on the science fiction writing industry, including comprehensive listings of new books published in the field. ...


In the 1990s, Wolfe published two more works in the same universe as The Book of the New Sun. The first, The Book of the Long Sun, consists of the novels Nightside the Long Sun (1993), Lake of the Long Sun (1994), Caldé of the Long Sun (1994), and Exodus From the Long Sun (1996). These books follow the priest of a small parish as he becomes wrapped up in political intrigue and revolution in his city-state. Wolfe then wrote a sequel of sorts, The Book of the Short Sun, composed of On Blue's Waters (1999), In Green's Jungles (2000) and Return to the Whorl (2001), dealing with colonists who have arrived on the sister planets Blue and Green. The three Sun works (The Book of the New Sun, The Book of the Long Sun, and The Book of the Short Sun), generally thought to be his most popular writing, are often collectively referred to as the "Solar Cycle". The Book of the Long Sun is a tetralogy by Gene Wolfe, comprising Nightside the Long Sun, Lake of the Long Sun, Calde of the Long Sun, and Exodus from the Long Sun. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about religious workers. ... A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... The Book of the Short Sun is a trilogy by Gene Wolfe, comprising On Blues Waters, In Greens Jungles, and Return to the Whorl. ... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... This article is about the year. ...


Wolfe has also written many stand-alone books. His first novel, Operation Ares, was published by Berkley Books in 1970 and was unsuccessful. He subsequently wrote two novels held in particularly high esteem, Peace and The Fifth Head of Cerberus. The first is the seemingly-rambling narrative of Alden Dennis Weer, a man of many secrets who reviews his life under mysterious circumstances. The Fifth Head of Cerberus is either a collection of three novellas, or a novel in three parts, dealing with colonialism, memory, and the nature of personal identity. The first story, which gives the book its name, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella. The Fifth Head of Cerberus is the title of both a novella and a single-volume collection of three novellas, written by American science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe, both published in 1972. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novella. ...


Wolfe frequently creates an unreliable narrator to tell his stories. According to Wolfe, "Real people really are unreliable narrators all the time, even if they try to be reliable narrators."[2] Sometimes this is a person who is simply naïve (Pandora by Holly Hollander, The Knight), or is not particularly intelligent (There Are Doors) or is not always truthful (The Book of the New Sun), or is suffering from serious illness (Latro in Soldier of the Mist, who forgets everything within 24 hours). He is also known for extremely subtle hints and lacunae which may never be explicitly referred to in the text; for example, a backyard full of morning glories is an intentional foreshadowing of events in Free Live Free, but is only apparent to a reader with a horticultural background. Illustration by Gustave Doré for Baron Münchhausen: tall tales, such as those of the Baron, often feature unreliable narrators. ...


Some readers have found Wolfe's use of the unreliable narrator confusing, on the grounds that, if the reader cannot trust the narrator, there is no way to determine the "meaning" of the text. Others find that, while it requires more work on the part of the reader, this trope creates a wider and deeper space of possible meaning for the reader to discover and explore. Thus, Wolfe's texts encourage multiple readings. Wolfe himself has said, in a letter to Neil Gaiman (Gaiman 2002): "My definition of good literature is that which can be read by an educated reader, and reread with increased pleasure." Neil Richard Gaiman (IPA: ) (born November 10, 1960[2]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ...


Importance

Although not a best-selling author, Wolfe is highly regarded by critics and fellow writers, and considered by many to be one of the best living science fiction authors. Indeed, he has sometimes been called the best living American writer regardless of genre. Award-winning science fiction author Michael Swanwick has said: "Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today. Let me repeat that: Gene Wolfe is the greatest writer in the English language alive today! I mean it. Shakespeare was a better stylist, Melville was more important to American letters, and Charles Dickens had a defter hand at creating characters. But among living writers, there is nobody who can even approach Gene Wolfe for brilliance of prose, clarity of thought, and depth in meaning."[3] At the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005 Michael Swanwick (born November 18, 1950) is an American science fiction author. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was a U.S. novelist, essayist, and poet. ... Dickens redirects here. ...


Among others, writers Neil Gaiman and Patrick O'Leary have credited Wolfe for inspiration. O'Leary has said: "Forget 'Speculative Fiction'. Gene Wolfe is the best writer alive. Period. And as Wolfe once said (in reference to Gaiman), 'All novels are fantasies. Some are more honest about it.' No comparison. Nobody – I mean nobody – comes close to what this artist does."[4] O'Leary also wrote an extensive essay concerning the nature of Wolfe's artistry, entitled "If Ever A Wiz There Was", found both in his collection Other Voices, Other Doors, and on his webpage. [1] Neil Richard Gaiman (IPA: ) (born November 10, 1960[2]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... Patrick OLeary (Saginaw, Michigan, September 13, 1952) is an American science fiction author and ad copy writer. ...


Wolfe's fans regard him with considerable dedication, and one Internet mailing list (begun in November 1996) dedicated to his works has amassed over ten years and thousands of pages of discussion and explication. Similarly, much analysis and exegesis has been published in fanzine and small-press form (e. g. Lexicon Urthus ISBN 0964279592).


When asked the "Most overrated" and "Most underrated" authors, Thomas Disch identified Isaac Asimov and Gene Wolfe, respectively, writing: "...all too many have already gone into a decline after carrying home some trophies. The one exception is Gene Wolfe...Between 1980 and 1982 he published The Book of the New Sun, a tetralogy of couth, intelligence, and suavity that is also written in VistaVision with Dolby Sound. Imagine a Star Wars-style space opera penned by G. K. Chesterton in the throes of a religious conversion. Wolfe has continued in full diapason ever since, and a crossover success is long overdue."[5] Thomas M. Disch Thomas M. Disch (February 2, 1940 – ) is an American science fiction author. ... Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), pronounced , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов [1], was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... A VistaVision 35 mm horizontal camera film frame. ... Dolby Laboratories, Inc. ... This article is about the series. ... Classic pulp space opera cover, with the usual cliché elements. ... For the town of Chesterton in Cambridgeshire, see Chesterton (Cambridge). ...


Wolfe was Guest of Honor at Aussiecon Two, the 1985 World Science Fiction Convention. Worldcon, a. ...


Bibliography

Novels

The first half of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 printing.
The first half of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 printing.

Download high resolution version (1106x1620, 610 KB)The cover of the 2000 printing of the first half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, comprising the volumes The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Concilliator. ... Download high resolution version (1106x1620, 610 KB)The cover of the 2000 printing of the first half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, comprising the volumes The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Concilliator. ... The Book of the New Sun is a novel in four parts written by science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Fifth Head of Cerberus is the title of both a novella and a single-volume collection of three novellas, written by American science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe, both published in 1972. ... The Book of the New Sun is a novel in four parts written by science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe. ... The first two books of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 omnibus printing. ... The first two books of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 omnibus printing. ... The first two books of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 omnibus printing. ... The first two books of The Book of the New Sun, 2000 omnibus printing. ... The Urth of the New Sun is a 1987 science fiction novel by Gene Wolfe that serves as a sort of coda to his 4-volume Book of the New Sun series. ... There Are Doors is a speculative fiction novel written by Gene Wolfe in 1988. ... The Book of the Long Sun is a tetralogy by Gene Wolfe, comprising Nightside the Long Sun, Lake of the Long Sun, Calde of the Long Sun, and Exodus from the Long Sun. ... The Book of the Short Sun is a trilogy by Gene Wolfe, comprising On Blues Waters, In Greens Jungles, and Return to the Whorl. ... The Knight, first book of The Wizard Knight, 2003 printing. ...

Story collections

  • The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories (1980) (Not an error but a literary joke; the title story is "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories". Among others, the collection also includes "The Doctor of Death Island" and "The Death of Doctor Island", winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novella.)
  • Gene Wolfe's Book of Days (1981)
  • The Wolfe Archipelago (1983), consisting of:
    • "Death of the Island Doctor" (1983)
    • "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories" (1970)
    • "The Death of Doctor Island" (1973)
    • "The Doctor of Death Island" (1978)
  • Plan(e)t Engineering (1984)
  • Bibliomen (1984)
  • Storeys from the Old Hotel (1988) [winner of the World Fantasy Award for best collection]
  • Endangered Species (1989)
  • Castle of Days (1992)
  • The Young Wolfe (1992)
  • Strange Travelers (2000)
  • Innocents Aboard (2004)
  • Starwater Strains (2005)

The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ... Winners of the Nebula Award for Best Novella. ... Gene Wolfes Book of Days is a short story collection by American science-fiction author Gene Wolfe published in 1981 by Doubleday. ... Storeys from the Old Hotel is a short story collection by American science-fiction author Gene Wolfe published in 1988. ... Innocents Aboard is a short story collection by American science-fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe published in 2004. ... Starwater Strains is a collection of short stories by Gene Wolfe. ...

Chapbooks

Wolfe has published a number of short chapbooks, many published in very small quantities by Cheap Street. Some of these have been reprinted in his collections, as when Starwater Strains reprinted "Empires of Foliage and Flower". A modern day chapbook. ... Cheap Street Press was a small publishing company started up and operated by the husband-wife duo, George and Jan ONale, in Newcastle, VA. Cheap Street concentrated on publishing forced-scarcity or artificially rare books - signed, numbered limited edition books of Science Fiction and Fantasy works. ...

  • At the Point of Capricorn (1983)
  • The Boy Who Hooked the Sun (1985)
  • Empires of Foliage and Flower: A Tale From the Book of the Wonders of Urth and Sky (1987)
  • The Arimaspian Legacy (1988)
  • Slow Children at Play (1989)
  • The Old Woman Whose Rolling Pin is the Sun (1991)
  • The Case of the Vanishing Ghost (1991)
  • Talk of Mandrakes (2003)
  • Christmas Inn (2005)
  • Strange Birds (2006)

Other works

  • The Castle of the Otter (1982) (a companion to The Book of the New Sun, later collected into Castle of Days)
  • Letters Home (1991) (collection of letters Wolfe sent home to his mother while he was fighting in the Korean War)
  • Shadows of the New Sun: Essays (2007)
  • Introduction to Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Fables and Reflections
  • A Walking Tour of the Shambles (with Neil Gaiman) (2002)
  • Introduction to Vera Nazarian's Salt of the Air (2006)

When Gene Wolfe finished the third volume of his The Book of the New Sun heroic fantasy epic, fans of the series began clamoring almost immediately for the fourth and final book in the tetralogy. ... Neil Richard Gaiman (IPA: ) (born November 10, 1960[2]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... The Sandman is a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published in the United States by DC Comics for 75 issues from 1988 until 1996. ... Fables and Reflections (1993) is the sixth collection of issues in the DC Comics series, The Sandman. ... Dreams of the Compass Rose by Vera Nazarian. ...

Books By Others About Gene Wolfe

  • Lexicon Urthus : Michael Andre-Druissi (Sirius Fiction, 1994, ISBN 0-9642795-9-2), a dictionary of the archaic words used by Wolfe in The Book of the New Sun
  • Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice, and the Reader : Peter Wright (Liverpool University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-85323-818-9): Study of The Book of the New Sun and The Urth of the New Sun

References

  1. ^ a b Autobiographical sketch
  2. ^ a b Lawrence Person (Fall/Winter 1998). "Suns new, long, and short: an interview with Gene Wolfe". Nova Express 5 (1). Retrieved on 2007-06-24. 
  3. ^ Michael Swanwick interview
  4. ^ Interview with Patrick O'Leary
  5. ^ From an article first published in American Heritage May-June 1999. Pg 211 of Overrated/underrated: 100 experts topple the icons and champion the slighted, ed. by the editors of American Heritage magazine. 2001, ISBN 1579121632, 256 pages, hardcover.

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... The Internet Speculative Fiction Database is a database of bibliographic information on science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. ...

Interviews with Wolfe

Locus Magazine is subtitled The Magazine Of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field. It reports on the science fiction writing industry, including comprehensive listings of new books published in the field. ...

Works available online

Persondata
NAME Wolfe, Gene
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION American novelist
DATE OF BIRTH May 7, 1931
PLACE OF BIRTH
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH
is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lupine Nuncio - Gene Wolfe News and Rumors (1580 words)
Gene Wolfe is a science fiction writer, and author of many novels and short stories.
Wolfe's fiction is dense but rewarding, and his use of language is often stunning.
Wolfe's last completed work was another series of novels set in the same universe as The Book of the New Sun, but in a very different environment: a miles-long hollow spaceship transporting humanity to colonize the stars.
Gene Wolfe (991 words)
Wolfe has effortlessly created a totally believable society, while telling us the minimum we need to know, and treated us to that fundamental of science fiction which is all to often missing from novels by the modern exponents - sense of wonder.
In Lake Wolfe reveals just how integral the role of Calde is to life in the world of the Long Sun and how the rulers of Silk's city have done away with the position in order to usurp its power for themselves.
Gene Wolfe is back with the third in his Book of the Long Sun series in which his central character, Patera Silk, is officially raised from humble pastor to the heady rank of Calde.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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