Did you know that Gene Wolfe was an industrial engineer who helped design the machine that makes Pringles potato chips? He's also one of my favorite authors, even though I am not particularly fond of potato chips.
I've read quite a bit of his work-- short fiction, long fiction, series, etc., even some poetry-- but not all of it. At the recommendation of a friend, I'm currently reading Peace
. It's reminding me a bit of the Wizard Knight
series, maybe, at least in its frame. Gene Wolfe likes using the frame tale as a device, and he's very good at it.
[*Edit: Oh wow...I finished Peace
last night and immediately started rereading it. What a book. It wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be; in fact, I'm not sure what it is at all,
aside from very good and very very unsettling.]
Here are a few images I've found.
These three are all by Bruce Pennington (top to bottom: Citidel of the Autarch, Shadow of the Torturer,
and Claw of the Conciliator
.) I found them in an article on Black Gate
, an excellent magazine and general speculative fiction/art website.
This is Richard Bober's 1994 cover for the Tor release of Calde of the Long Sun.
The L6a6s6t Judgement, and my creed betrays,
Unlearnt foreknowledge of these coming days.
The angels come to smite the sea and land,
The anti-Christ for us-- and slays.
The Sun the dancing children love,
Casts down this radiance from above.
Fusion, fission, no remission;
So small a house, so large a stove....
This is my favorite cover image for Shadow of the Torturer. It was done by Don Maitz for the original Simon & Schuster edition of 1980.
Wiki gods say
, "...The Shadow of the Torturer won the annual World Fantasy Award and British Science Fiction Association Award as the year's best novel. Among other annual awards for fantasy or science fiction novels, it placed second for the Locus (fantasy), third for the Campbell Memorial (SF), and was a finalist for the Nebula...."
It could be argued that The Book of the New Sun is science fiction’s Ulysses. Like James Joyce, Wolfe has ‘put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep professors busy for centuries over what I meant, and that’s the only way of ensuring one’s immortality.’ 13 However, to do so would be to deny Wolfe’s determination to wed the reading process with his particular conception of existence through his games playing. From his other fiction, it apparent that Wolfe perceives the world as an ambiguous round of perceptions and misperceptions in which the individual struggles, and ultimately fails, to apprehend the precise nature of existence.
The three images above of from Japanese editions; artwork is by Takeshi Obata.
Artist Richard Vass did this cover for the Hungarian Delta Vision