gene wolfe's book of the NEWSUN!!!!! reading club

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i'm reading chapter one of shadow of the torturer starting now

the late great, Thursday, 17 May 2012 06:00 (six years ago) Permalink

i could get behind this, if i can find it for kindle

pet tommy & the barkhaters (darraghmac), Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:20 (six years ago) Permalink

i'm not ready to read them yet. this year though. definitely.

scott seward, Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:49 (six years ago) Permalink

i'd do them over the summer, but i'm not sure i'll get past the first one

remy bean, Thursday, 17 May 2012 13:01 (six years ago) Permalink

i mean the gimmick with them is that they are just a meandering, unreliable narrator a la casanova, right?

remy bean, Thursday, 17 May 2012 13:04 (six years ago) Permalink

I can't find these, actually. I picked up a short story collection.

poxen, Thursday, 17 May 2012 13:12 (six years ago) Permalink

remy - nope!

the late great, Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:22 (six years ago) Permalink

read the first one, kinda stalled on the 2nd one now and taking a break to read a robert b parker novel.
i will be happy to discuss this with you cuz it is... intersting. i think i like it. but somehow i go stalled on the 2nd cuz i felt it was becoming too generic? idk.

one dis leads to another (ian), Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:26 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm in for summer, either way

remy bean, Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:27 (six years ago) Permalink

transient random-noise bursts. . . was in heavy rotation when i first read this and is now forever associated with it in my mind

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 May 2012 23:42 (six years ago) Permalink

awesome books, I can't commit to a re-read but I'm looking forward to this thread

los blue jeans, Friday, 18 May 2012 00:01 (six years ago) Permalink

i was going to read 'island of doctor death' and then go to this but island of dr death is triggering both the literary-prose and genre-fiction versions of my 'i just can't be bothered' button, and as such has been parked next to the toilet for something like a week

thomp, Friday, 18 May 2012 09:57 (six years ago) Permalink

i just noticed this is on the noise board, i forget the noise board exists

thomp, Friday, 18 May 2012 09:57 (six years ago) Permalink

pardon my cornell notes

"a thousand ages in they sight / are like an evening gone / short as the watch that ends the night / before the rising-sun" <- is this about god? is it about severian and his photographic memory, ruminating on mortality even though his life seems like a thousand ages to him? is it about the experience of reading this book? is it about the resurrection of the righteous? is it about the long decline of man before the destruction of earth?

it is a paraphrase of psalm 90, which in the king james version goes (SPOILER ALERT RE: URTH OF THE NEW SUN)

" For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up."

"resurrection and death" <- why inverted? especially when the first chapter skips the resurrection entirely and begins in the "and" section. is it normal to go swimming on foggy nights? damn, these kids must have had some crazy goosebumps.

why does severian imagine cutting

the late great, Friday, 18 May 2012 17:34 (six years ago) Permalink

haha actually SPOILER ART RE: corridors of time!!!

the late great, Friday, 18 May 2012 17:35 (six years ago) Permalink

er SPOILER ALERT

the late great, Friday, 18 May 2012 17:35 (six years ago) Permalink

whoops that got "cut off" if you will

why does severian imagine cutting off vodalus' head? does he secretly hate vodalus? is he afraid of one day having to betray vodalus?

the late great, Friday, 18 May 2012 17:36 (six years ago) Permalink

http://butdoesitfloat.com/This-was-the-first-time-that-he-had-ever-looked-into-the-labyrinth-of

^^ this is what i imagine nessus looking like

the late great, Saturday, 19 May 2012 21:45 (six years ago) Permalink

wow awesome thread! i am almost done with the last book, so very timely for me. these books are amazing.

bene_gesserit, Saturday, 19 May 2012 23:50 (six years ago) Permalink

I am gonna reread along with this thread.

mick signals, Sunday, 20 May 2012 00:54 (six years ago) Permalink

actually i guess the resurrection might refer to the grave robbery

the late great, Sunday, 20 May 2012 00:58 (six years ago) Permalink

book one just arrived to my kindle.

pet tommy & the barkhaters (darraghmac), Sunday, 20 May 2012 01:45 (six years ago) Permalink

or his exile is the resurrection? but that doesn't make sense, resurrection's not like exile.

the late great, Sunday, 20 May 2012 04:55 (six years ago) Permalink

xpost with the scifi fantasy thread - here's wayne barlowe's illustration of an alzabo. i pictured them looking far more canine for some reason, but i love this illustration.
http://lcart1.narod.ru/image/fantasy/wayne_barlowe/gtf/Wayne_Barlowe_Alzabo.jpg
i have a lot i want to talk about but you are all just getting started and i don't want to spoil anything! so i'll wait til you're done to join the discussion.

bene_gesserit, Sunday, 20 May 2012 22:49 (six years ago) Permalink

lol i have read this twice and remember remarkably little of it

mookieproof, Sunday, 20 May 2012 22:53 (six years ago) Permalink

That thing looks like a fanged rhino crossed with Dumb Donald.

Ian Hunter Is Learning the Game (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 21 May 2012 00:01 (six years ago) Permalink

I always pictured a large hyena. Are those its eyes in its jowls?

mick signals, Monday, 21 May 2012 02:29 (six years ago) Permalink

transient random-noise bursts. . . was in heavy rotation when i first read this and is now forever associated with it in my mind

― mookieproof, Thursday, May 17, 2012 7:42 PM (4 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

might do this and this

A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Monday, 21 May 2012 15:06 (six years ago) Permalink

picked this up again as i wanted to take a break from the country music bio i was reading. and

SPOILER

the part where they 34t th34cla and he somehow gets her memories is the kind of stuff i like about this series.

one dis leads to another (ian), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 00:16 (six years ago) Permalink

finished chapters 2 and 3, not sure what to say about them quite yet ... thinking

the late great, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 15:52 (six years ago) Permalink

findin this v hard to get into

pet tommy & the barkhaters (darraghmac), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:15 (six years ago) Permalink

why?

the late great, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 17:14 (six years ago) Permalink

keep fallin asleep after every paragraph, tbh. it's dense.

pet tommy & the barkhaters (darraghmac), Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:55 (six years ago) Permalink

it is dense. i suggest reading aloud in a foppish voice.

the late great, Thursday, 24 May 2012 03:49 (six years ago) Permalink

^^^ lol.

i find it a bit of a hard read too, because the action moves a lot slower than a lot of what i have been reading lately, and i also fall asleep reading it. but.. i am keeping on. it's a strangely episodic book and i think some of the episodes are more engaging than others tbh.

one dis leads to another (ian), Thursday, 24 May 2012 15:29 (six years ago) Permalink

If you can find the audio version, read by Roy Avers for the National Library Service for the Blind, it's a nice version.

Spent the last 5 minutes looking for an old photo I remember, of Roy Avers in his big glasses, but can't find it.

mick signals, Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:50 (six years ago) Permalink

read that as Roy Ayers and got excited.

scott seward, Thursday, 24 May 2012 23:57 (six years ago) Permalink

you should read this book and get excited

the late great, Thursday, 24 May 2012 23:58 (six years ago) Permalink

i'm gonna. but not now. i have all three in hardcover.

scott seward, Friday, 25 May 2012 00:18 (six years ago) Permalink

i am on chapter 3 now

remy bean, Friday, 25 May 2012 01:01 (six years ago) Permalink

Everybody Loves the New Sunshine

mick signals, Friday, 25 May 2012 01:22 (six years ago) Permalink

lolllllll

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 25 May 2012 01:39 (six years ago) Permalink

the one thing I completely remember skipping when I read this a long time ago was that lengthy play at the end

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 25 May 2012 01:39 (six years ago) Permalink

ah you missed the whole point of the series then

the late great, Friday, 25 May 2012 06:03 (six years ago) Permalink

i'm glad i'm learning more about jonas.
it seemed like between the end of book 1 and the beginning of book 2 he became severian's best buddy without much explanation. i guess there is a lot that goes unexplained in these books tho.

one dis leads to another (ian), Friday, 25 May 2012 15:32 (six years ago) Permalink

there is a gap of a few weeks or even a couple months between shadow and claw i think

the late great, Friday, 25 May 2012 15:39 (six years ago) Permalink

i do think severian does explain why he likes jonas so much

the late great, Friday, 25 May 2012 15:41 (six years ago) Permalink

guys i am reading gene wolfe's wiki and:

After returning to the United States he earned a degree from the University of Houston and became an industrial engineer. He edited the journal Plant Engineering for many years before retiring to write full-time, but his most famous professional engineering achievement is a contribution to the machine used to make Pringles potato chips.[5]

HOLY SHIT!!

bene_gesserit, Monday, 28 May 2012 04:28 (six years ago) Permalink

I'm almost finished with Claw of the Conciliator, and this is book has it all. I can't believe I almost missed this, I only discovered it because of this thread.

carpet_kaiser, Wednesday, 21 June 2017 18:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Was just trying to talk my wife into reading this the night before last. She loves Wolfe's short fiction but wasn't feeling the newsun last time she tried it

or at night (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 21 June 2017 18:25 (one year ago) Permalink

How far did she get into it? It took me three attempts before I made it past the first 20 pages. It starts off like a boring medieval fantasy story ... then the fun starts. Glad I pushed through.

carpet_kaiser, Wednesday, 21 June 2017 18:28 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

barelling through a re-read of these, just started Claw of the Conciliator. The transition from the end of Shadow of the Torturer to Claw of the Conciliator is so jarring and disorienting. And then it takes several chapters to get up to speed on where Severian is/how much time has passed.

one random thing that's stuck out at me this last time around - have people terraformed the moon? There's a reference to the moon's "green" glow, and then later a reference to the "fabled emerald forests of the moon". Just one of those weird details thrown in in the background with no further explication, easy to gloss over but curious to ponder.

also really enjoying reading these with the internet handy, cuz now I can look up all the weird words thrown about (most of which, like the thing with the moon, don't seem particularly critical but do add a compelling level of detail).

I can think of few other writers who do such an incredible job of keeping the reader off-balance - you never know what's going to turn out to be significant in the narrative.

Οὖτις, Friday, 10 August 2018 15:53 (three months ago) Permalink

yah the moon has been completely forested

wait til you get to the bit abt mountains

the late great, Friday, 10 August 2018 15:55 (three months ago) Permalink

And yes I found that transition very jarring too And I’ve never quite been able to figure out what he’s going for

Hopefully I am not spoiling too much if I tell you that there is a similar transition between each book

the late great, Friday, 10 August 2018 15:59 (three months ago) Permalink

Does it? Has there ever been a time where "everyone agreed as to what good rule was" and could distinguish between "legitimate authority" and "corrupt coercion"? Very much doubt that was the case in "Christianized barbarian society".

Also, does a desire for progress inevitably lead to the destruction of the planet and Ascian slavery?

Also also, is there something a bit patronizing about his comments on women and the working class?

― Mercer Finn, Sunday, August 31, 2014 1:32 PM (three years ago)

wolfe is a believer. for him "legitmate authority" is authority you feel in your heart, cf the bit where malrubius asks severian about forms of the government. malrubius asks severian to list the types of authority (or something like that, maybe it was types of power) in terms of development. severian starts with personal attachment to a deity, moves on to attachment to a monarch, then attachment to an elected body, then attachment to an abstract set of laws, etc. something like that, i'm paraphrasing here. and he asks severian which is the best and severian cites the last one. and then he asks severian which type triskele (his dog) feels toward him, and whether he thought it was better or worse than attachment to an abstract set of laws. so for wolfe legitimate authority is ultimately with god and everyone has to suss their relationship with god's authority out for themselves, since god (like the hierophants in yesod) is more or less infinitely far away. that's actually a big theme in the books, right? "following your heart" toward some distant goal or whatever rather than the torturer's code?

on the second point, i think you're misreading it. ascians are not "political correctness run amok" or something wingnutty like that. there are many various fallen civilizations on urth beside the ascians and the autarchy, all of them are implied to have sought progress in one form or another and fallen into degeneracy for their own reasons (prodded by ecological disaster). remember wolfe is christian, so this is a resurrection parable. it is about a dying sun (son) so civilization is going to die one way or another (it has to, to reborn). it's not a desire for progress ... there's no way in wolfe's mind a civilization could stop progressing, any more than a person can stop aging. it's about the cycle of life or whatever, not a critique of the direction of civilization.

on the third point yes, but when hasn't a crusty white sci fi writer man been patronizing

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:10 (three months ago) Permalink

i mean i get as an atheist one might find this stuff to be corny bullshit or whatever but lighten up, it's sci fi literature not a manual for living

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:12 (three months ago) Permalink

also like a fair number of other sci fi writers you just have to ignore the stuff that isn't sci fi (the tolkien essay)

just like you have to ignore when stephen hawking talks about politics or whatever

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:16 (three months ago) Permalink

does a desire for progress inevitably lead to the destruction of the planet and Ascian slavery?

to continue w/ this a bit more 1) the planet is not destroyed for another few billion years, when the sun swells up etc and 2) near the beginning of book 2, at the fair at saltus we learn the ultimate fate of the human race and not only is it destruction or turning into ascians or something awful, it's actually pretty fucking cool and utopian

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:28 (three months ago) Permalink

*not only is it not destruction*

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:28 (three months ago) Permalink

following your heart" toward some distant goal or whatever rather than the torturer's code?

this is kind of interesting because he takes thecla out from under the authority of the other torturers, and then submits himself for torture in her place. instead he gets exile, and then all this crazy shit happens to him, these epic trials and all this fate and destiny stuff. so he's really being interrogated by god over the course of story, and he willingly submits to it. so i feel like wolfe is saying there are legitimate and illegitimate types of the authority, the legitimate ones being the ones that people are compelled to submit to willingly.

so i mean, if you want, this story about a torturer is literature about submission, not liberation.

As a child I had been taught ... It might be better to be a slave than to die, but it was better to die than to be a slave who acquiesced in his own slavery.

^^ make this ironic, right? because this is a roman-a-clef where severian decides that submitting to god by willingly offering yourself up for punishment is the best way to die

you will spot this theme many places but i don't want to spolier

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 07:50 (three months ago) Permalink

"following your heart"

^^ without getting directly into spoilers, this is relates to the claw (the artifact itself)

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 17:36 (three months ago) Permalink

is anyone here knowledgable about catholicism? i would love to learn more about how the imagery in these books relates to catholicism (and i guess christianity in general which i don't know *that* much about)

the late great, Sunday, 12 August 2018 17:39 (three months ago) Permalink

it's funny, the one episode that really stuck with me from Sword of the Lictor (which I'm about 2/3rds of the way through now) was not the stuff in thrax or the alzabo or little severian or baldanders - it was the Typhon and Paiton chapters on the giant statue. Something about that whole sequence, while not seeming to have much significance in the larger narrative, is so compelling and otherworldly. Maybe it the religious-revelation trappings, scaling a mountain while starving and meeting a god - it has all the rite-of-passage trappings of archetypal mountain myths, mount analogue, holy mountain etc.

Οὖτις, Friday, 24 August 2018 17:48 (three months ago) Permalink

it is a very significant sequence!

the late great, Saturday, 25 August 2018 04:37 (three months ago) Permalink

It might be, I just can't tell yet! I'm discovering that I remember very little of the final book besides certain elements of the climax. I just got to the part where he relinquishes the Claw to the Pelerines.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:51 (three months ago) Permalink

one thing I'm appreciating a lot this time around - which maybe didn't register with my first reading over a decade ago - is the way Wolfe incorporates and refracts various myths and archetypes into these strange new shapes. I lol'd when I spotted the Marlowe/Faustus quote in the brown book Severian carries. Wolfe seems way more interested in littering his narrative with this kind of thing than in filling a more standard fantasy framework (a nobody goes on a quest, meets companions, gains a magic weapon, faces a nemesis, learns true nature of self etc. - although obviously all of that is present as well!) There's a very meta/postmodern sensibility at work that's constantly highlighting that this story is literally made up of lots of other, older stories, and yet they often appear strange and unfamiliar because of the way they are presented or because of slight revisions.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 17:59 (three months ago) Permalink

wait - there's a marlowe quote?!?

the late great, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 18:16 (three months ago) Permalink

I forget where this happens exactly, maybe after he talks to the undine?

Some fragments Severian sees while the wind is turning the pages to dry them: "soulless warrior!" ... "lucid yellow" ... "by noyade" ... "These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient." ... "Hell has no limits, nor is circumscribed; for where we are is Hell, and where Hell is, there we must be." (Note: The last fragment is from Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Noyade is a mode of execution by drowning.)

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 03:39 (three months ago) Permalink

interesting!

the late great, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 04:00 (three months ago) Permalink

Apparently Dr. Talos quotes Faustus at one point as well but I’m not sure where that is

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:13 (three months ago) Permalink

that i recall

the late great, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:18 (three months ago) Permalink

Dicking around with Google books instead of working - "soulless warrior!" looks like it's either from Lucy Larcom's poem Orion or Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning by Richard Hinckley Allen, where the poem is used as an epigraph. Maybe the latter, because "lucid yellow" turns up in William Henry Smyth's Sidereal Chromatics, on star colours. The "ancient times" one is Francis Bacon.

woof, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 14:46 (three months ago) Permalink

almost to the end, and a couple things sticking in my head a bit

- Malrubius + Triskele are the products of an AI, right? It's kind of implied (esp if one takes a literal interpretation of the "deus ex machina" ref)
- Agia's character (and maybe this gets cleared up towards the end) really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. She's this shopkeeper who initially is enamored of Severian's sword and concocts an elaborate scheme to obtain it, but then it turns out she has this essentially super-powered suitor that can summon extradimensional beings and crazy weapons (so what would she want a big sword for)? And she hounds Severian with them, apparently out of rage-revenge, but instead repeatedly rescues him rather than tortures/kills him? And was also totally unaware of the significance of Vodalus and the Autarch (her murder of Vodalus is referenced but not depicted/described)? You add all those things up they don't form much of a consistent character.

Οὖτις, Friday, 31 August 2018 16:44 (three months ago) Permalink

Malrubius + Triskele are the products of an AI, right

no, not really. aquastors are much higher-tech than that, to the point that they're basically just magic ghosts reincarnated by the hierogrammate. it's explained a bit more in book 5, but the answer is really just magic.

from paracelsus - AQUASTOR. - A being created by the power of the imagination - i.e., by a concentration of thought upon the A'kasa by which an ethereal form may be created (Elementals, Succubi and Incubi, Vampires, &c.). Such imaginary but nevertheless real forms may obtain life from the person by whose imagination they are created, and under certain circumstances they may even become visible and tangible.

so yr not a million miles off but it's the concentrated thought power of the hierogrammate that reincarnates them, not the concentrated thought of an AI (book 5 goes into hierogrammates in a bit more detail, they are portrayed mostly in vague terms but they possess near-limitless power from our POV, though not from theirs)

the late great, Friday, 31 August 2018 19:05 (three months ago) Permalink

it turns out she has this essentially super-powered suitor that can summon extradimensional beings and crazy weapons (so what would she want a big sword for)

agia seeks power and doesn't enjoy being beholden to hethor. in fact she really doesn't like hethor at all, because he is a creep.

i think agia represents self-interest, in contrast to severian's sense of duty

the late great, Friday, 31 August 2018 19:12 (three months ago) Permalink

oh hi, I have read the first two and am gonna get the rest soon, reading the 2-in-1 books that I assume are standard now.

will check back in later

sleeve, Friday, 31 August 2018 19:55 (three months ago) Permalink

so yr not a million miles off but it's the concentrated thought power of the hierogrammate that reincarnates them, not the concentrated thought of an AI (book 5 goes into hierogrammates in a bit more detail, they are portrayed mostly in vague terms but they possess near-limitless power from our POV, though not from theirs)

this seems like an intentionally obscure way of Gene Wolfe saying "this is me, messing about with the plot". I'm sure there's some literary term for when authors essentially insert themselves into their own work as semi-omnipotent figures, which kind of sounds like what's going on here

Οὖτις, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:53 (three months ago) Permalink

hierogrammate literally defined as "A sacred scribe; specifically, a writer of hieroglyphics", and akasha as space/sky (I remember that much from hindu mythology) + the "deus ex machina" refs... all seems to be Wolfe getting a little cutesy with the po-mo literary devices

Οὖτις, Friday, 31 August 2018 22:55 (three months ago) Permalink

i lent out my copy of the first two, but maybe when i get a break from this mystery bender i'll do a re-read of the second half. I love this shit.

ian, Friday, 31 August 2018 23:37 (three months ago) Permalink

yr definitely on to something shakey, esp considering that the first time we see a hierogrammate it appears when the autarxh opens a book whose pages are made of magic mirror

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 00:29 (three months ago) Permalink

Ok just finished. So...

Father Inire is the green man, and Dorcas is Severian’s grandmother...?

And Severian’s life is some kind of time loop

Οὖτις, Saturday, 1 September 2018 05:36 (three months ago) Permalink

no, yes, yes

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:15 (three months ago) Permalink

you still have one more to go

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:15 (three months ago) Permalink

inire is a hierodule, not a human, i think

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:17 (three months ago) Permalink

Which hierodule? Severian says he was with him in the jungle, but the only ppl he was in the jungle with were vodalus and his retinue, agia and the green man

Οὖτις, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:20 (three months ago) Permalink

inire is the "savage guide"

from the end of the first section of chapter 28 of citadel of the autarch ("on the march")

"for guides our column had three savages: a pair of young men who might have been brothers or even twins, and a much older one, twisted i thought, by deformities as well as age, who perpetually wore a grotesque mask ... a covered palanquin ... bore the autarch ... and one night when my guards were chattering among themselves ... i saw the old guide (his bent figure and the impression of an immense head conferred by his mask were unmistakable) approach this palanquin and slip beneath it. some time passed before he scuttled awauy. this old man was said to be an uturuncu, a shaman capable of assuming the form of a tiger"

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:36 (three months ago) Permalink

i highly recommend reading "urth of the new sun" btw, it's an excellent coda to the series

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 15:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Ah thx forgot that paragraph lol

Οὖτις, Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:09 (three months ago) Permalink

haha yeah these books are so dense!

the late great, Saturday, 1 September 2018 16:12 (three months ago) Permalink

I truly can’t remember if I read Urth of the New Sun after finishing my first traversal of the four. I definitely didn’t read it after my more recent traversal. I might never have read it.

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:03 (three months ago) Permalink

it’s very good

the late great, Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:04 (three months ago) Permalink

plot-wise it tells the story of the conciliator, resolves the time loop thing, takes us into the mothership, finishes the baldanders / talos / abaia story by showing what happens when the new sun arrives (spoiler alert - wolfe veers toward hard sci fi here and it’s not pretty)

solid payoff imo

the late great, Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:09 (three months ago) Permalink

it’s a bit like when you finish an epic d&d campaign and become a living god and then the gm lets you play a few adventures in super high fantasy god mode just for the hell of it

well that and it spelled out a lot of plot points from the first four for me (i am a dummy)

but i don’t mean to imply the tone shifts radically - he’s still exploring the same themes and questions as before, with the same voice and pacing. if anything it’s even more elegaic than the first four, even though it packs in a lot more earth shaking action

the late great, Sunday, 2 September 2018 19:15 (three months ago) Permalink

hey I just found super cheap old hardbacks of the last two books and Urth in a thrift store! time to get reading.

sleeve, Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:24 (three months ago) Permalink

Has urth o’ th’ NS gotten kind of swept under the carpet since it came out? Is it included in the reprint schemes that have happened since then? I feel like it doesn’t get mentioned much

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:53 (three months ago) Permalink

for whatever reason it has its own volume, but it’s still in print and i think there’s an ebook bundle w allfive

the late great, Sunday, 2 September 2018 20:59 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i mean i get as an atheist one might find this stuff to be corny bullshit or whatever but lighten up, it's sci fi literature not a manual for living

― the late great, Sunday, August 12, 2018 8:12 AM (two months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Haha fair enough. Looks like the essay has disappeared from the internet so I can't reread it and get angry all over again.

Didn't realise that there are many various fallen civilizations on urth beside the ascians and the autarchy. I thought the two were portrayed as a binary that perhaps unconsciously (?) reflected the cold war division of the world at the time the books were written.

Currently reading Viriconium and enjoying it a lot. Probably not as good as BotNS but working in the same (future fantasy) genre and has some of the same stylistic flair.

Mercer Finn, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 21:23 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

from a friend, I just got to this part of the 3rd book:

In Wolfe's Solar Cycle, Typhon the two-headed Imperial person is a direct reference to, possibly an intentional gank, of the two-headed president in Douglas Adams' Hithchiker's Guide.

In fact, there are many plot and character aspects of the Solar Cycle that have direct precursors in Adams' work. One wonders if Wolfe expected to be called on it!

sleeve, Monday, 3 December 2018 02:35 (six days ago) Permalink


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