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my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










I really like The Devil in a Forest too. I like how there is a typical Wolfe "hidden" plot going on with the woodcutters and their pagan ceremony thing but it's not heavily obfuscated and ambiguous like much of his other stories, and by the end you probably will have gotten the gist of it. Same with the double identities i.e. Wat's role as the Forester - it's hinted well and makes perfect sense in the story. There is maybe too much of the characters going "well here's why so and so could/couldn't happen" but that's a minor complaint. Mark is a good narrator.

I guess this along with Pandora by Holly Holander could be considered Wolfe's YA books. Pandora is good too.

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ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I'm about halfway through On Blue's Waters and I must say: this is the first time that [sic] has made me go "oh holy gently caress!!". The way I see it there might be two narrators but I'm unsure if it's Horn impersonating Silk (which he apparently is really good at) or Silk actually took up Echidna's offer and he's divinely possessing Horn. Given that in that passage he straight up misremembers the name of one of his children as "Horn" I'm guessing the latter. I like the irony of Horn writing Silk's book, only for Silk to write Horn's. Y'all were right: Long Sun is worth reading just for context in Short Sun.

ManlyGrunting fucked around with this message at 20:48 on Oct 23, 2019

Athaboros
Mar 11, 2007

Hundreds and Thousands!




I finished reading Book of the New Sun yesterday; it was my first work by Wolfe. I enjoyed it, though reading it was almost like trying to see something through a sheet of gauze or a foggy window. I picked up on the out-in-the-open clues, such as the features of the world and such, but I find myself pretty confused by how Citadel ended and what I'm supposed to have gotten out of it. With all the talk of time travel in the thread, I'm wondering if I missed some implications related to that when Severian goes back to Nessus, the Citadel, and the necropolis.

I ordered Urth of the New Sun, and I plan on reading it when it arrives. I've been chewing on the book in my mind all day today, so it's likely I'll read the series again in light of my (marginally) greater understanding of the work. I'm absolutely sure there's still a lot I'm missing, especially as it comes to other literary references in the work.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


Oh yeah, it's a DENSE book with a lot of vital clues hidden in blink-and-you-miss-it lines (I only figured out who Severian's sister was on my third readthrough). It definitely is a mind-blowing book on a second read though.

Neurosis
Jun 10, 2003


Fallen Rib

ManlyGrunting posted:

Oh yeah, it's a DENSE book with a lot of vital clues hidden in blink-and-you-miss-it lines (I only figured out who Severian's sister was on my third readthrough).

I think we're still in theory-land on that one. I mean, there are some good theories with decent evidence, but I don't remember anything that blew me away as obviously logical. Are we talking about Merryn? I thought she was the most plausible.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I mean Severian does note that the witches are the sister-guild to the torturers, if she wound up anywhere it would be there.

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










In Short Sun Merryn straight up says "he's my brother" re: Severian and I take that line as Wolfe saying "here you go. here is an answer to a puzzle!"

Neurosis
Jun 10, 2003


Fallen Rib

my bony fealty posted:

In Short Sun Merryn straight up says "he's my brother" re: Severian and I take that line as Wolfe saying "here you go. here is an answer to a puzzle!"

I totally forgot about that (or read it as a torturers/witches being related guilds). I always thought she was the most likely candidate by a fair margin but there wasn't enough evidence to put it beyond doubt (it didn't really seem to have much thematic importance, either), but that's enough to put it to rest.

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it

Interlibrary Loan has an Amazon page now. It doesn't come out until June, though. I'll have to read A Borrowed Man again between then and now - I've forgotten a lot of it.

https://www.amazon.com/Interlibrary.../dp/B07X18JL4K/

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Athaboros posted:

I ordered Urth of the New Sun, and I plan on reading it when it arrives. I've been chewing on the book in my mind all day today, so it's likely I'll read the series again in light of my (marginally) greater understanding of the work. I'm absolutely sure there's still a lot I'm missing, especially as it comes to other literary references in the work.

Be warned that Urth does spoil Book a fair bit.

I'm warming up to it as its own book now but I felt a bit cheated when I first unwittingly grabbed it and was given solutions to puzzles I hadn't even recognized as such.

I'd give Book of the New Sun at least one reread and a bit of downtime before going into Urth if you like the thrill of discovery. Or at least I would've told myself that.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I'm finishing up On Blue's Waters now and I gotta say: Horn(?), could you ease the hell up on your son just a little bit here?
e: Okay just finished it and I am sticking to my "at least two narrators somehow spliced together" theory

ManlyGrunting fucked around with this message at 02:46 on Nov 14, 2019

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










Horn's a loving dickhead yeah

I'm rereading Long Sun for the first time rn and every time I see Horn I'm like gently caress you buddy you grow up to be an rear end in a top hat

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


Incanto just met Duke Rigolio in In Green's Jungles and uuuhhhhh

This book's been a loving ride ever since Incanto's second story

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










IGJ is definitely the best part of Short Sun and yeah when they start travelling to Urth it gets real good.

This Long Sun reread has got me thinking that (gasp) Long Sun is better than New Sun. At the very least it doesn't get anywhere near the attention it deserves. Silk is just a really great character.

This opinion may change once I get to the second half which iirc is kinda bloated and a lot of nothing happens in a lot of pages. But Nightside and Lake are really really good.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I just finished Return to the Whorl and with it the entirety of the Solar Cycle.

Holy Christ, what a ride. Just...goddamn. I'll have a better post once I've digested the last 100 pages or so of Whorl but wow. Between this and a reread of Peace (seriously, how many people has Alden murdered?) I think Wolfe is a strong contender for my favourite authour of all time, not just science fiction but in general. Easily in the top five, at least. Linking Quadrafons to the weird bear/wolf/lion/cattle structure in the Atrium of time (as talked about in this one article I remember reading) https://ultan.org.uk/lions-and-tigers-and-bears/ alone, or the insight of the identity of Abaia and the Undynes and their relationship with Seawrack are going to keep me puzzling for a long while. For that matter, what is Seawrack's real name, since Horn remarks that Seawrack is just an apropriate name that is close to it because he can't quite pronounce it right?

ManlyGrunting fucked around with this message at 01:03 on Dec 18, 2019

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Return to the Whorl is real good.

The Vosgian Beast
Aug 13, 2011

Business is slow

ManlyGrunting posted:

I just finished Return to the Whorl and with it the entirety of the Solar Cycle.

Holy Christ, what a ride. Just...goddamn. I'll have a better post once I've digested the last 100 pages or so of Whorl but wow. Between this and a reread of Peace (seriously, how many people has Alden murdered?) I think Wolfe is a strong contender for my favourite authour of all time, not just science fiction but in general. Easily in the top five, at least. Linking Quadrafons to the weird bear/wolf/lion/cattle structure in the Atrium of time (as talked about in this one article I remember reading) https://ultan.org.uk/lions-and-tigers-and-bears/ alone, or the insight of the identity of Abaia and the Undynes and their relationship with Seawrack are going to keep me puzzling for a long while. For that matter, what is Seawrack's real name, since Horn remarks that Seawrack is just an apropriate name that is close to it because he can't quite pronounce it right?

Could be Sycorax

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


Yeah, Krait does have a certain Caliban vibe to him

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

ManlyGrunting posted:

I think Wolfe is a strong contender for my favourite authour of all time, not just science fiction but in general. Easily in the top five, at least.

What're the others?

I'm doing a fair bit of traveling in January and could stand some new blood for the (e)books.

Pretty sure if I take Wolfe I'll end up sucked in to the point of missing my surroundings. As happened when I took BotNS to a four-day rave.

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










Check out John Crowley if you haven't, Engine Summer is a good place to start for Wolfe fans

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


Hammer Bro. posted:

What're the others?

I'm doing a fair bit of traveling in January and could stand some new blood for the (e)books.

Pretty sure if I take Wolfe I'll end up sucked in to the point of missing my surroundings. As happened when I took BotNS to a four-day rave.

I'm not really sure what your preferences are (and I read a lot less than I should all told) but I guess Junot Diaz, Cormac McCarthy, Umberto Eco and Alice Munroe? I would say David Foster Wallace but I'm finding myself less entranced with him as I get older and also more of a girl. If you're looking more for the genre stuff I would say Zelazny and LeGuin, Lord of Light is great and I'm reading Left Hand of Darkness for the first time right now (holds up remarkably well for a science fiction book written 50 years ago). My brother recommended Nine Princes of Amber to me but I only managed to get through the first 100 pages of the first book before life ended up happening so I can't weigh in too hard; he also won't stop recommending Neuromancer to me like the Gen-Xer he is and I don't have the heart to tell him I don't really care for Gibson much (I bounced off Idoru hard). A lot of people also like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel but I found I kind of lost interest once the Thistledown-haired man started being more proactive for some reason, I should finish that one up one of these days.

Also if you can read Long Sun and Short Sun because individually those series are pretty good but together they're just masterful

papa horny michael
Aug 18, 2009



my bony fealty posted:

Check out John Crowley if you haven't, Engine Summer is a good place to start for Wolfe fans

Big ups for the John Crowley recommendation. His works are similar in that a lot of what is happening occurs beneath the writing, so to speak.

Hammer Bro.
Jul 7, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

ManlyGrunting posted:

Recommendations.
I'm not really sure what your preferences are (and I read a lot less than I should all told) but I guess Junot Diaz, Cormac McCarthy, Umberto Eco and Alice Munroe? I would say David Foster Wallace but I'm finding myself less entranced with him as I get older and also more of a girl. If you're looking more for the genre stuff I would say Zelazny and LeGuin, Lord of Light is great and I'm reading Left Hand of Darkness for the first time right now (holds up remarkably well for a science fiction book written 50 years ago). My brother recommended Nine Princes of Amber to me but I only managed to get through the first 100 pages of the first book before life ended up happening so I can't weigh in too hard; he also won't stop recommending Neuromancer to me like the Gen-Xer he is and I don't have the heart to tell him I don't really care for Gibson much (I bounced off Idoru hard). A lot of people also like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel but I found I kind of lost interest once the Thistledown-haired man started being more proactive for some reason, I should finish that one up one of these days.

Also if you can read Long Sun and Short Sun because individually those series are pretty good but together they're just masterful

Thanks for jogging my memory on McCarthy and Eco; it's much easier to impulse buy things in the digital age. I may give Diaz a spin and Munroe sounds right up my alley, at least based on Wikipedia. Plus it'll be nice to have some fresh short stories for the many train rides.

Zelazny is fun though sometimes dated and LeGuin is timeless. I also bounced of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel -- I suppose it was pleasantly British and all but it didn't feel like it went anywhere with the amount of time I spent with it. And I may or may not have finished it -- the audiobook I had borrowed cut off abruptly and I couldn't tell if that was just a sudden end to the novel or if I was missing some discs but I didn't care enough to pursue the matter further.

Oof. Still half a year 'til Interlibrary Loan.

Kestral
Nov 24, 2000

Forum Veteran

Clapping Larry

I just finished The Knight, and realized something: to anyone who has ever run Dungeons & Dragons for tween / teen boys, the "inconsistent" characterization of Sir Able of the High Heart will seem very familiar.

ManlyGrunting
May 29, 2014


I think I get what you mean but specifics would be nice: I only ever got into tabletog rpgs with friends in my mid-twenties

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Italo calvino, invisible cities.

HamsterPolice
Apr 17, 2016



RIP my friend.

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










read Starwater Strains and it's a mixed bag. has some excellent stories like "Has Anybody Seen Junie Moon?" and "Pulp Cover" and then "Viewpoint" which is the worst thing I've ever read by Wolfe. overall it's a good collection and I'll definitely come back to some of the stories later. "Golden City Far" reads kinda like a proto-Wizard Knight which is neat.

Your Gay Uncle
Feb 16, 2012
EXCUSE ME WHILE I HELP DOZENS OF MEXICANS FUNNEL HOT TAR UP MY MOTHERS ASS WITH A TRAFFIC CONE

After the slog that was the Long Sun I am blasting through Short Sun. Just Started Green's Jungles. So much better than the previous installments. I swear to god if I ever read the word "tunnels" again my head will explode.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012


Your Gay Uncle posted:

After the slog that was the Long Sun I am blasting through Short Sun. Just Started Green's Jungles. So much better than the previous installments. I swear to god if I ever read the word "tunnels" again my head will explode.

Long sun is frustrating because the aesthetic is great, and Silk might be my favorite protagonist of any novel. But jesus the plot just gets way to convoluted, trying to keep up with all these people running around shifting allegiances. Also I couldn't understand a single thing Spider said the entire book.

Short Sun is fantastic though, some of Wolfe's best work by far.

my bony fealty
Oct 1, 2008










Long Sun benefits extremely from a reread, the parts that seem tedious (tunnels, Xiphias, talos factory and the like) are actually not that long and are way better when you read them as character-focused sequences and not plot-focused. actually that's true of the whole book. golly I love Silk, Nightside is a perfect book.

Short Sun is his opus and maybe the best work of speculative fiction yet written tho yeah

Sekenr
Dec 12, 2013




Finally got around to the long sun after having read the new sun books some years ago, and as much as I struggled through the Urth of the new sun, goddamnit, Nightside of the long sun is such a joy to read! The pacing, the world, the characters, what a goddamn pleasure

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

Just read Fifth Head of Cerberus for the first time. Is there any clue in the actual first part that the first narrator is correct about the anthropologist being a native or is that something that's supposed to not make sense at the time but then get revealed as true in the third part? I didn't notice any hints to it, but I could easily have missed something.

Sekenr
Dec 12, 2013




I have one question - what is calde? This word is mentioned several times and I have no idea what it means.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012


Sekenr posted:

I have one question - what is calde? This word is mentioned several times and I have no idea what it means.

It's the leader of virion. It's head of state, the posts been absent since the death of the last calde, and the ayuntamiento took over sole control of the state.

Nakar
Sep 2, 2002

Ultima Ratio Regum


It almost certainly derives from the Spanish alcalde (a title used in Book of the New Sun), or mayor. It derives from the Arabic al-qadi, the judge/magistrate, which can be a bit confusing as the Latin word for "warm" sounds similar but the Spanish in this case isn't borrowing from Latin.

It's literally the mayor of Virion.

CoolHandMat
Oct 5, 2017


having skipped nearly every other post, and yet seeing the Gene Wolfe title, and knowing that Gene Wolfe tends to show up on a bunch of those "best fantasy bla bla book ever lists... seriously ever..."



where does one start?

Facehammer
Mar 11, 2008



Book of the New Sun.

Then take a break, then read it again.

Azram Legion
Jan 23, 2005

Drunken Poet Glory

CoolHandMat posted:

having skipped nearly every other post, and yet seeing the Gene Wolfe title, and knowing that Gene Wolfe tends to show up on a bunch of those "best fantasy bla bla book ever lists... seriously ever..."



where does one start?

Book of the New Sun is incredible, and is part of what is without a doubt my favorite series of books. However, Book of the New Sun in itself is four books, with a fifth follow-up book, and it is part of a series that totals 13 books (I believe?) and some short stories, so it is quite a commitment - even if all Wolfe fans agree it is more than worth your time. If you want something shorter or more self-contained, I can recommend The Fifth Head of Cerberus, and if you like short stories, collections like The Best of Gene Wolfe or Castle of Days are full of gems that will stay with you.

Also, the advice to re-read Wolfe stories after a break is worth following!

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anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I'd suggest either Fifth Head of Cerberus (the collection - it's actually three connected novellas with Fifth Head being the first) or The Sorcerer's House.

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