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Castle of Days

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  322 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"The Washington Post" has called Gene Wolfe "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced." This volume joins together two of his rarest and most sought after works--Gene Wolfe's "Book of Days "and "The Castle of the Otter"--and add thirty-nine short essays collected here for the first time, to fashion a rich and engrossing architecture of wonder.
Hardcover, first edition, 447 pages
Published December 1992 by Tor Books (first published 1992)
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Sep 28, 2015 Combiner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A neccesary oddity for the Wolfe fan. Most, I suspect, pick this up in order to get a start in the right direction in figuring out the polychromatic labyrinth that is The Book of the New Sun, and it does indeed give some insight into its creation, but it feels as if Wolfe is being coy, and only hands over a few, minor keys, as well as some insights into literature and writing. Some parts of the book are only the bare technical details of how TBotNS was published, and doesn't offer much aside fro ...more
Aaron Singleton
Mar 08, 2013 Aaron Singleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, gene-wolfe
This book is a joy to read from cover to cover. It is actually two books combined; Wolfe's 'Book of Days', a short story collection, and the non-fiction 'The Castle of the Otter'. The latter's title taken from a Locus writer who misunderstood the title 'The Citadel of the Autarch' and wrote it as Castle of the Otter.

This book begins with what was CotO, a collection of essays and anecdotes, many concerning the writing and publication of The Book of the New Sun quartet, others about writing and be
Apr 27, 2009 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of short fiction
My main reason to buy "Castle of Days" were the articles about "The Book of the New Sun". They provide interesting background information and also reveal something about the author himself and his work as a professional writer. A must for every Wolfe aficionado. I considered the included "Book of Days" as a nice bonus but nothing more.

Recently I have started to read Wolfe's short stories that are in my possession and looked for the first time at the stories in this collection. In his introductio
Sep '09: i discovered a bunch of my What Do I Read Next? reviews from the mid-90s when i was on a serious SF-canon reading tear (and, apparently, averse to capital letters).

Plot Summary: a collection of stories, each of which is attached to a particular holiday or celebration day (e.g., Christmas Eve, Homecoming Day, Armistice Day). furthermore, as per the author's introduction, each story should be read only when in the mind frame of one celebrating such
Aug 18, 2007 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gene Wolfe's collection CASTLE OF DAYS is a must for fans, especially those who enjoyed his four-volume great work the Book of the New Sun. It consists of three parts, "Gene Wolfe's Book of Days", "The Castle of the Otter", and "Castle of Days."

"Gene Wolfe's Book of Days" is a collection of some of Wolfe's short stories, each representing a particular holiday. While these pieces are generally lighter and less substantial than Wolfe's other short stories of the late 70's and earlier 80's, there a
Mar 10, 2009 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolfe is my favorite author, so I was looking forward to read some of his metawriting. While some of them are very creative and fun (he interviews himself, does an epistolary account of publishing deal in, and has characters from the New Son tell jokes in various "essays") many were rambling and didactic.

The short story collection at the beginning of the book has a very interesting premise: a themed story for a bunch of major holidays. You're supposed to read the stories on the days themselves,
Oct 13, 2014 Sebastian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-jet-pack
No, Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen is not a made up book by Jorge Luis Borges @Gene Wolfe.
Ross Lockhart
Jul 18, 2007 Ross Lockhart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t read this whole book yet, merely the section previously published as The Castle of the Otter, which is Wolfe's own dissection and explanation of his (in-progress) dying earth epic. Reasonably spoiler-free, this appendix to The Book of the New Sun is well worth reading for insights into its creation and especially for the glossary to the archaic words peppered throughout the text. The rest of Castle of Days appears to be a short story and essay collection, and I fully plan to read it, b ...more
Justin Covey
Devoting an equal amount of time to short stories, essays, and what would best be described as Book of the New Sun special features this book is clearly meant only for fans of Gene Wolfe. That being said, only Gene Wolfe fans are liable to have heard of this book. In conclusion, if you know about this book you will enjoy it thoroughly.
Larry Koester
Oct 27, 2015 Larry Koester rated it liked it
Some short stories of various genres and short articles about writing. Of limited interest to me.
Mar 04, 2010 Larry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urthlings
Some of the stories are a bit weak. A few bear more than a slight resemblance to Asimov's old "shaggy dog" stories. On the other hand, it's interesting to watch Wolfe in the process of "finding his voice". Kindof comforting to know Wolfe didn't just spring from the head of Zeus fully formed:)
Jul 10, 2008 Zepp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fix
Bits and great bits and great great bits.
Anyone who loves the Severian books will in mesmerelda delight, bite through.
The Book of Days section recalls the best of Ovid's Fasti and pillow books couchant.
Apr 19, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, non-fiction
Half short stories, half Wolfe brand putty filling in the cracks in the Book of the New Sun, half excellent writing advice. Only Gene Wolfe can make 3 halves into a whole.
A. Walter
Sep 27, 2008 A. Walter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gene Wolfe is a master of the short story. This collection combines both his fiction and non-fiction. A very insightful collection.
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Gene Wolfe is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is noted for his dense, allusive prose as well as the strong influence of his Catholic faith, to which he converted after marrying a Catholic. He is a prolific short story writer and a novelist, and has won many awards in the field.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fict
More about Gene Wolfe...

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