Books about Wolfe
. A "must have" for the Wolfe enthusiast.
A detailed guide to the complex diction of the New Sun series. Its been out of print for a while.
Exploring Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun"
. A collection of essays and ruminations on the
complexities of the New Sun series of books. Recommended.
The Long and the Short of It:
More Essays on the Fiction of Gene Wolfe
More essays dealing with broader sweep of Wolfe's fiction, including the Long Sun series.
Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader
"Eschewing the conventional spiritual reading of the novels, Peter Wright employs evolutionary
theory to argue for a controversial secular reception of a narrative in which Wolfe plays an
elaborate textual game with his reader."
Book of Imaginary Beings A wonderful bestiary of fabulous creatures, written with a deft combination of seriousness and whimsy.
Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
A collection of fantastical short stories by the Argentinean writer. Wolfe cites Borges as
an influence on him. The story "Fuenes the Memorious" also involves a man with
perfect memory like Severian.
The Complete Father Brown
Father Brown was G.K. Chesterton's original crime solving priest. Patera Silk is Wolfe's
The Man Who Was Thursday
A surreal detective story about the seven
members of the Central Anarchist Council (all named after days of the week). But
their identities become confused, even to themselves.
Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith
This is Chesterton's autobiography, where he speaks of his conversion to Catholicism.
The fictional autobiography of Roman Emperor Tiberius
Claudius. The story of how the emperor "backed into the throne" is
somewhat influential on Wolfe's tale of Severian, the autarch who also
found his throne the same way.
City of Lost Children
- This surreal and visually imaginative film by Belgian directors
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Mark Caro is frequently hailed by Wolfe fans as
having some of the distinctive qualities of Wolfe's stories. Themes of
dreams, innocence, childhood, and technology.
- This is the film version of Graves' novel, which originally appeared
on PBS. 7 Tapes! Many highly recommend this, though I haven't seen it.
also available cheaper!
Faith Odyssey: A Journey Through Lent
- By Richard Burridge. A set of Lenten meditations with, amazingly, an
SF theme (SF films, at least). I have no idea if this is any good, but I note it for your
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The essential encyclopedia for the SF fan or student. The article on Wolfe is
rather enlightening: Clute is the seminal Wolfe scholar.
Hans Beiderman; James Hulbert (trans).
Nice work for exploring symbols and their meanings cross culturally. Illustrated. Paperback.
Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, etc.
A general survey of the works of several Christian SF and Fantasy Authors.
C. N. Manlove
A similar work to that listed above, but more scholarly
and covering more ground. Hardback.
Science Fiction or Fantasy
The Rediscovery of Man:
The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith. Smith (Paul Linebarger)
was one of the early SF writers who influenced a new generation. His
stories take place against the backdrop of a long future history, referred to as "The Instrumentality
of Mankind". While Wolfe denies having read much if any Cordwainer Smith, I feel those
who would appreciate Wolfe would also appreciate Smith.
Smith's only novel, set on the planet Old North Austraila ("norstrillia").
of the Dying Earth
This is a collection that reprints all four of Jack Vance's "Dying
Earth" stories, The Dying Earth, Eyes of the Overworld,
Cugel's Saga, and Rhialto the Marvellous. These stories
are somewhat mixed in quality. The Cugel tales are quite
amusing, if picaresque. I like the Dying Earth, the
first, the best. These books were the basis for the magic system found in
Dungeons and Dragons role playing game. Trade Paperback.
Languages of Pao
classic of the SF genre. "The Panarch of Pao is dead and Beran Panasper, his young son and heir, must flee the planet to
live and avenge his father's death. It is at the secret fortress on the planet Breakness that Beran discovers the
dreaded truth behind the assassination of his father-and much more. The people of Pao are a docile lot, content
to live in harmony with the rest of the cosmos, but the scientists at Breakness seek to alter the psychology of
the Paonese for their own purpose-and Beran holds the key to their audacious plan." Vance makes use of the "strong"
Sapir-Worf hypothesis to craft a story of cultural change
via controlled linguistic change.
Set on the decadent world of Fader, whose inhabitants only pursue leisure
with a genetic slave class to do their labor. The planet's inhabitants
are paralyzed by lack of will in the face of many dangers. Vance developed his own
alien vocabulary whose meaning emerges as the story unfolds.
Ports of Call
Space opera of interstellar exploration.
The Gods of Pegana
Time and the Gods
One of the progenitors of twentieth century fantasy, he influenced H.P.
Lovecraft and many others. Pegana was Dunsany's cycle of stories of mysterious other gods who
care little for what worship they receive. The language has wonderful legendary quality
to it. These are two new reprints from Wildside press. They look like nice editions.
The Sandman. A wonderful comic books series, 75 issues, now collected into
editions. The series is about Morpheus, the Lord of Dream, and his siblings,
The Endless (all told, Dream, Death, Destiny, Desire, Delirium, and Despair).
A modern fantasy rich in legendary allusions and imagery. The collections consist of
- A reference work on the Sandman series, with plenty
of interviews of Gaiman. By Neil Gaiman and Hy Bender.
Preludes and Nocturnes
- Not really as good
as later volumes. I'd suggest new readers start with volumes 2 or 4, and
then come back for more.
The Doll's House
- G.K. Chesterton guest stars!
Season of Mists
- My favorite part of the series.
A Game of You
Fables and Reflections
- Wolfe wrote the intro to
- One of the stories in this volume
has a kind of homage to Wolfe, containing characters who have come from a place
called "the necropolis"
Sandman: The Dream Hunters
- A new Sandman tale by Neil Gaiman, marvelously illustrated by
Yoshitaka Amano. Hardcover, 96pp.
- Williams was one of the Inklings, a cadre of friends including C.S. Lewis and
J.R.R. Tolkien. He wrote "spiritual thrillers", novels concerning religious or
philosophical subjects presented in a most unconventional and fantastic
manner. I enjoy his works immensely, but I concede that they're not for
not all of his works are in print. These are available, however.
Descent into Hell
War in Heaven