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inkdroid (3294)

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inkdroid is a person, not a robot. however, inkdroid likes ink. inkdroid likes perl too.

Journal of inkdroid (3294)

Thursday May 08, 2003
05:55 AM

Book of the New Sun

[ #12070 ]
I just finished reading Gene Wolfe's four part series Book of the New Sun (1 and 2). I know I heard about Wolfe from someone on or #perl. Perhaps I eavesdropped on Dave Rolsky since he imagined and coded Alzabo (a word from Wolfe's imaginary world). Anyway, these books were absolutely incredible.

"a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis" (Publishers Weekly)

"Arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced." (Chicago Sun Times).

When I read these comments on the back of the first book I must admit I was skeptical. It's almost the ultimate no-no for me to compare anything to Tolkien. I guess that's because I read Tolkien so many times growing up it somehow shaped part of my imagination, and is now inextricably linked to that time in my life.

But as I got into the Book of the New Sun I couldn't agree more. These books have been around for a while, so they are probably not big news to anyone who is into science fiction/fantasy. But if you haven't read them definitely pick up the first one and see what you think. These books have it all: superb language, richly imagined world, complex characters, mystery, magic, science, religion, history, phantasmagoria, sex, love ... the whole #!. Now I need to find something new to read: any ideas? I feel like I'll have to wait a while before finding another gem like this.

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  • You should read the long sun books and the short sun books. These latter two series eventually tie back into the new sun books. It's pretty amazing.

    BTW, Alzabo is not a made up word. It's Arabic for "the hyena" (I think).
    • Thanks, I was wondering if these were as good and related to the Book of the New Sun. Now I know what to read next. Have you read any Iain Banks? I really liked his "culture" series alot, and seems similar to Wolfe in some ways. Anyhow, cheers for the recommendation. That should keep me busy :)
  • I'm a fan of hard sci-fi, as well as good fantasy. But for the life of me, I can not get into this series. I'm midway into Claw, and I feel no real compelling urge to finish it or the rest of the series.
    • Well, keep going if you can. The plot line opens up somewhat slowly. There is a fair amount of tension in the book which I guess some people might find unpleasant. Hard science fiction it is not.