Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe was born in New York in 1930 and raised in Texas. After serving in the Korean War he graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and worked in engineering until becoming an editor of a trade periodical, Plant Engineering, in 1972. Since retiring from this post in 1984, he has written full-time. The author of over three dozen award-wining novels and story collections, he is regarded as one of modern fantasy’s most important writers. His best-known work, the four volume far-future Book of the New Sun, won the World Fantasy, BSFA, Nebula, British Fantasy and John W. Campbell memorial Awards. He has won the World Fantasy Award four times for his novels and collections and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award for his extraordinary body of work. Gene Wolfe lives in Illinois with his wife, Rosemary.


I’m Gollancz’s Digital Publisher. People ask me what that means and, upon comparing answers, find that I’ve told everyone something different. That’s because it’s the future and it’s changing all the time; at least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. When I’m not digitising thousands of classics for our fabulous SF Gateway project, I like to bore people rigid about SF & Fantasy, comics, cricket, football and Belgian beer. This can only be prevented by bringing me drinks.
  • Al R

    Agreed, it’s a masterful opening. Wolfe goes on to do so much in that first chapter, too – there’s a character with a ray gun, if I remember, and some kind of flying machine, so we know right away we’re not in your usual swords and sorcery universe.

    I still don’t think I’ve ever encountered the word “presentiment” anywhere else, though, other than when I jut googled it.

  • Darren Nash


    I see you your “presentiment”, Al, and raise you a “palagic argosy”!

  • Nev Park

    It’s *pelagic*! (Oh yeah—I’m from the quercine penetralia.)

    If I could read it again for the first time I’d have this database of saints at my elbow, to look up all the names. And a dictionary. It’s lovely as a mystery, but knowledge only adds to its excellence.

  • Darren Nash

    Gah! You’re right, of course! Now, I feel like a rght autochthon . . .

  • Darren Nash

    Or, indeed, “right”. Back to the typing lessons . . .

  • Al R

    Go and stand in the corner of Thrax, the City of Windowless Rooms, and think about what you’ve done.

  • Darren Nash

    All right. I’ll submit myself to Master Gurloes for correction . . .

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  • Pooper

    Will Gollancz also be publishing Volume 2? It would be good to buy this if the entire set is matched on the shelf

  • We do publish the second volume, it’s subtitled Sword and Citadel but is not available in the same cover style. This was a one-off celebration of 50 years of great SF publishing, so the ‘set’ is actually, the Top Ten books we published at the end of last year, rather than other books in the same series. I hope that makes sense – it did in my head!

  • Pooper

    Oh that’s a shame. Ah well I have already ordered the Top Ten version of Shadow and Claw… I suppose it doesn’t matter too much if the second volume is just a paperback

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