Monday, June 8, 2009

Wolfe's exemplary literary fiction

There seems to be no better time to declare that the term "science fiction" used to describe a certain kind of literature is no longer viable than with the release of "The Best of Gene Wolfe." Gene Wolfe has long been recognized as one of the finest living science fiction writers, none of his many novels or short stories really can accurately be labeled that. Wolfe himself has suggested the term Science Fantasy for his work, but there is still something oddly contrived about trying to fit an author of such magnitude into any genre box.

Wolfe is probably best known for his work "The Book of the New Sun," a four-part epic that is one of the most exhilarating and challenging things I have ever read. Wolfe loves the unreliable narrator, and most of his fiction relies on the very fact that we can never really trust what we are told, as all experience is filtered through things like pride, desire, and the fickleness of memory. His novels are dense and filled with arcane language, heavy with double meanings.

Wolfe's short fiction, however, is an entirely different animal from his novels... Read More

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