Peace: Wolfe’s Masterful Rumination on Nostalgia, Memory, and Uncertainty


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If Gene Wolfe is oftentimes a writer hard to decipher, there is nothing unclear or equivocal about his allegiance to the genre. He is first and foremost a writer of science fiction and fantasy, and in this he was always straightforward.

But there are a few cases in his body of work when the reader is not that sure of what genre (if any) a particular narrative is part of. That seems the case with Peace.

Attention: spoilers.

Published in 1975, this novel is a narrative related to us by Alden Dennis Weer, an old, rich man who’s apparently suffered a stroke and is starting to confuse past and present, recalling from memory incidents of his childhood and adolescence through his later life.

Seems pretty simple, right?

We should know better by now.

Maybe Weer had a stroke, or a heart attack. In the beginning, he consults a doctor and ...

The Fifth Head of Cerberus: Wolfe’s Holy Trinity


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The Fifth Head of Cerberus Gene Wolfe Reread

The first novel by Gene Wolfe that received acclaim from critics and fans (you’ll recall, per the introduction, that Operation Ares isn’t going to be covered in this reread) is, as almost everything related to this author, significant—by the fact that it’s not quite a novel. As in one of the mysteries of the Catholic faith, it’s a trinity that is one; in literary parlance, a mosaic: three interlinked novellas, telling different aspects of the same story.

Which story is this? This is never a simple question when reading Gene Wolfe. He doesn’t make it any easier for the reader—nor should he. Wolfe’s stories are labyrinths, and one should be very careful to enter them. As with any book, in fact, but in Wolfe’s case one tends to get lost in trying to understand things too clearly.

Attention: spoilers.

The book is called The Fifth Head of Cerberus...

Introducing the Gene Wolfe Reread on Tor.com: The Reader in the Mist


This post is by Fabio Fernandes from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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How did I initially encounter Gene Wolfe’s work? When was the first time I heard his name?

I can’t remember exactly. Memory fails. It’s like a mist shrouding my eyes. It doesn’t help that I lost my only pair of glasses a few months ago and couldn’t afford a new one until last week, so this mist is not just a metaphor. The tribute to this Grand Master is quite fitting, I’m afraid.

But, if I could venture a guess, how then?

As far as I can remember (and I have a very selective memory), I have two possible explanations, maybe two origin myths for my meeting with this remarkable man. The first is fairly trivial: I might have read his name for the first time in Locus magazine, in the late eighties. But (speak, memory! — no, this is from another writer) I’m sure that I only started to subscribe ...