I was just checking Audible and discovered they finally have an audio version of The Urth of the New Sun finally available for purchase. Narrated by Jonathan Davis, the same reader of The Book of the New Sun series, I expect this to be equally as amazing as the first four installments. I can only hope we’ll start seeing more of the Urth Cycle get audio versions in the near future.
A few days ago I came across a tabletop role-playing game called Troika!, by Daniel Sell and Jeremy Duncan. A surreal fantasy adventure game with an elegant set of easy-to-use rules just under sixty pages in length. I write about it here because of the Wolfe inspired gems I found within its character creation pages. A few familiar sounding vocations are available as options (which are randomly rolled) for the player characters, such as Cacogen, Zoanthrop, and Journeyman of the Guild of Sharp Corners. Obviously, these options aren’t exact duplicates of what you’d find in The Book of the New Sun, but they certainly pay a bit of homage to the Urth Cycle versions in their descriptions.
It’s good to see because, in my opinion, Wolfe’s work isn’t referenced as much as one would expect in the RPG industry. Monte Cook mentions TBotNS as one of his influences for Numenera, but I’ve seen no other mention of Gene Wolfe or his books since the publishing of GURPS New Sun by Steve Jackson Games back in 1999.
What I would genuinely love to see is a Burning Wheel resource for TBotNS. Burning Wheel’s sophisticated game mechanics would fit together nicely with the setting and characters of Urth, but a project like that would definitely be an immense undertaking.
In the first of what appears to be a series of posts on Gene Wolfe, Matthew Keely writes about approaching the author’s work and the author himself for the first time. Matthew gives us an interesting and personal perspective on Wolfe and I look forward to the next installment of this series over at Tor.com
Tor.com started a book club a while back that gives out a free ebook at the beginning of every month. This month’s free ebook happens to be “Shadow & Claw” and, after signing up via email, is available in both mobi and epub formats. The offer is good until March 13th. Please be advised that signing up for Tor.com’s book club does indeed sign you up for their newsletter. All things considered, Tor does push some pretty nice content out and I’ve never personally felt they were spammy. Biased maybe, but not spammy.
Here is the link to all the details:
I’ve recently started listening to a new Wolfe themed podcast called Alzabo Soup that I’ve found both enjoyable and insightful. The hosts of the show, (Phillip and Andrew) keep the show light-hearted and fun while diving deep into their interpretations of Wolfe’s work. Currently, they’re covering one of my own personal favorites, “The Sorcerer’s House,” so it’s been a personal treat to hear what they’ve come up with.
It’s always exciting to see other people not just enjoying Wolfe’s work but giving back to the community of Wolfe fans out there. If you’re a fellow Wolfe fan then definitely give them a listen. Pick up a copy of “The Sorcerer’s House” if you haven’t already read it and follow along, emailing your own ideas and interpretations to them. It’s good to see these kinds of projects out there and definitely worth supporting.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview with Marc Aramini and can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy of his book (and volume 2 for that matter). Whether you’ve read Gene Wolfe or not this interview is certainly worth a few moments of your time.
I haven’t read much of Gene Wolfe’s work, even though everybody tells me it’s fantastic. There are 25 novels and almost 10 short story collections, so deciding where one should start feels like a chore in itself (maybe we can christen it as the Moorcock Dilemma).
That’s a problem for this year’s Hugo reading, obviously, because one of the candidates in the category of Best Related Work is a book called Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini. It’s a tome that goes through Wolfe’s works one by one, providing analysis, discussion and interpretations — and it’s quite useless for anybody who hasn’t read the original works first.
I run into the author Marc Aramini online and he suggested I read a couple of short stories before checking his analyses: Suzanne Delage (1980) (available online), The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories (1970)…
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Another great post by Michael Swanwick over at Flogging Babel in honor of Gene Wolfe’s birthday. He shares the essay he wrote for the special Gene Wolfe issue of Science Fiction & Fantasy back in 2007.