The Book of the New Sun

Discussion in 'Gene Wolfe' started by D6Veteran, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Aaron Singleton

    Aaron Singleton New Member

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    I love Vance, too. Got your PM, but I cannot send you a reply due to my low post count. But, yes, I am on the Vance Yuku board as opiate taylor.
     
  2. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I think your new friend may have already said it.....;)

    @Aaron: Welcome aboard Aaron. If you have not already done so, please feel free to post something about yourself in the Introductions thread. Nice to see another Wolfe fan too....:)
     
  3. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    Yes, welcome!
     
  4. donaldtroll

    donaldtroll Member

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    I just have to say that this book is my bible. I nearly read it to the exclusion of all others. The first time I read it I was in 1995 when I was 15. Since then I have read it many times, and am still amazed at the depth of his narrative, his prose and his story arcs. I have read both the Long and Short sun books, and they are awesome in their own rights, but still cannot hope to catch even a smidgeon of the glory that permeates the chronicle of Severian.

    I am just now starting Soldier of Sidon, after tremendously enjoying the first two books. I am by no means an avid reader, but for me it would be impossible to even concider reading a book by anyone else while there are still Wolfes out there that I havent read.

    And to top it off he had successul surgery on my thirtieth birthday. Talk about the best present ever!

    A toast to Gene Wolfe, author extraordinaire!
     
  5. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    If you don't read often, then you've picked a heck of an author to focus on.

    Welcome aboard donaldtroll...:)

    It would seem we're getting quite a number of recent Wolfe fans on board now.

    I think I need to start rereading and posting some thoughts on Gene's lesser known books here.
     
  6. T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished The Citadel of the Autarch and I thought it was excellent. I did not like it as much as The Sword of the Lictor because there were a few parts that dragged a bit. But, this is a minor complaint. The four book series as a whole was every bit as good as I heard it was.

    I've already started reading The Urth of the New Sun, and I am already totally sucked in. This is my first taste of Wolfe's work in outer space (for lack of a better phrase) and I think it's some of his best writing thus far.

    I'm really looking forward to more of Wolfe's outer space work in this and The Long Sun novels.
     
  7. T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

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    Finished The Urth of the New Sun and I really enjoyed it. Parts of it were absolutely brilliant, like the first half when he was on the ship. The entire series was excellent and am sure will only get better on a re-read.

    I have already started Nightside the Long Sun.
     
  8. Jane Delawney

    Jane Delawney Member

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    Am about to conclude my fifth *back to back* reading of BoTNS - hadn't read it for years, now I don't seem to be able to stop reading it.

    Also, this time round I have also ground my way through BoTLS and BoTSS, for the first time in each case. I'm about 2/3 of the way through RttW right now and so don't really know what the outcome will be (heck, I haven't even gotten to the passage with Merryn and her 'brother' in the Matachin Tower - rumours of which were what decided me to read the rest of the 'Sun cycle' in the first place).

    However I'm already prepared to say the following: I'll be reading BoTNS again probably in quite short order; but have yet to persuade myself I'll ever want to read any of the others again. Do things start (at least) to slot into place finally in RttW?

    Don't remember ever feeling this disoriented / kind of disappointed when reading BoTNS for the first time; and it's not just down to the slippery timelines of the later works (I'm well able to keep track of such things; also, therefore, to detect when they don't quite make sense ... deliberately on GW's part I dare say!). To me, BoTNS has 'something' - a mythological resonance, a numinous quality? don't know quite how to put it - which the later works strive for, and (therefore?) fail to achieve. Trying too hard?

    Interested to hear whether anyone else has had a similar experience (and just to clarify: to me, BoTNS comprises of four volumes and an appendix rather than 5 volumes - not trying to provoke argument just to clarify where I'm coming from).



    jd
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  9. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree that BOTNS is the best of all the "Sun" books/series and that like all of Gene's work requires mutliple readings if you want to suck every nuance and subtext out of these tomes.

    Nice to see another Wolfe fan too, why not say Hi in the Introductions section if you haven't already?

    Other Wolfe works worth seeking out include Latro in The Mist, Peace, Fifth Head Of Cerberus, Gene Wolfe retrospective (2009) and the myriad short story collections inlcuding Storeys from the Old Hotel.
     
  10. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I couldn't finish TBOTLS, but really enjoyed the first two books of TBOTSS. The third book in that sequence however I couldn't finish because of the character with the incredibly annoying speech who comes in half way through... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Jane Delawney

    Jane Delawney Member

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    I have a similar problem with BOTLS actually - I guess I'm not a paid up member of the Thieves' Guild because I really couldn't understand quite a lot of what Auk, Hyacinth, Chenille and others of like background had to say on first reading. had to go back to it several times.

    One gets the hang of it eventually but to me, obfuscation via invented language really doesn't cut it as a literary tool - in BOTNS there's plenty of 'obfuscation', but it's not invented, one simply has to have the vocabulary. And even if one doesn't, it's not too hard to determine what is going on (on the surface I mean :) ). In BOTLS there's just so darned much of the story told in Thieves' Cant that it's very difficult to work out what is going on in some places if one doesn't have that inside knowledge.

    So for me, most of BOTSS came as a blessed relief from all that darned Cant; and then we get to meet the Dorp-ers. OMG.

    However - more of a problem (still) is what I referred to earlier, regarding timelines that do not quite make sense. Back then, I was having difficulty sorting out the Silk/Horn timeline regarding when exactly t/he/y was/were kidnapped and forced into ruling Gaon by Hari Mau and his cohorts. Now that seems to have slotted into place - but if and when I re-read BOTSS I'll be more alert for the presence or absence of an eye...

    JD
     
  12. Jane Delawney

    Jane Delawney Member

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    Just a quick note: if you haven't already done so, try searching 'book of the new sun' on YouTube. You should find a nice BOTNS filk by a guy called Jonathan Mann aka therockcookiebottom.

    I'd post the link but apparently I don't have enough posts on this forum to be able to include links (working on it :) ).

    didn't think it was even possible to create a credible BOTNS filk (Julia Eclar's 'Terminus Est' is an interesting failure - strictly IMO of course!) but this guy did it anyway.

    No personal interest in this I should say; just like the song!

    cheers

    JD
     
  13. Kierkegaurdian

    Kierkegaurdian Well-Known Member

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    I just finished the BOTNS. It is definitely one of my favorite books, science fiction or otherwise. The story was fascinating, the language was beautiful, and the characters were memorable. I bought the BOTLS, and found a few short story books by Wolfe and the Urth of the New Sun for free. Looking forward to reading them after I take a sci-fi break!
     
  14. T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you enjoyed it, I feel the same way about it as you did. I just finished the first Long Sun book and enjoyed it as well, please share your comments as you read that series. I do recommend that you read Urth first, I really enjoyed that book, that and the The Sword of the Lictor were my favorites in that series.
     
  15. Kierkegaurdian

    Kierkegaurdian Well-Known Member

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    I am reading too many books at the moment, but I definitely plan on reading Urth, then BOTLS. Severian is an amazing character ... I am glad there is more of him to look forward to. I have so much Wolfe to get through, and they are all there on my shelves, tempting me! I am going to get through Towers of Midnight first though, so I am caught up on the Wheel of Time. :D
     
  16. T77

    T77 Well-Known Member

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    Tell me about it. I've been reading so much Wolfe lately that I put him down to read other authors. I am having withdrawals and am itching to get back to his books.
     
  17. Kierkegaurdian

    Kierkegaurdian Well-Known Member

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    I got a bit lucky. There is a free bookstore in Baltimore called The Book Thing, and I found a hard cover first edition of Urth, as well as Castle of Days and Castleview. So I went from no Wolfe to lots of Wolfe overnight! Looking forward to a 14 hour train ride for the holidays to catch up on my reading.
     
  18. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    Lucky you don't have my problem. I own all of Gene's published fiction...:rolleyes:
     
  19. Jane Delawney

    Jane Delawney Member

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    Well I still don't quite have that 'problem' but the trouble is that after a while you begin to suspect that actully, everything is linked to everything else and then you have to go buy that other vol. that someone has pointed out has material relevant to X or Y and then there's the next one that's linked somehow to the one you just bought ...

    Looking for a cheap copy of 5th Head right now just because someone on a mailing list said the alzabo may be native to Ste. Anne (or was it St. Croix). Wolfe obsessive? Moi?

    well yeah actually :)
     
  20. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I'm not sure I buy the link between TBOTNS and 5th Head, but I admit the evidence is quite persuasive...
     
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