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Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun #1-2)
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2011 Reads > S&C: Book of the New Sun Resources

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message 1: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Feb 14, 2011 12:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Whether you're reading these books for the first time, or revisiting them, there's a number of resources that can assist your trip into Wolfe's world:

Neil Gaiman's How to Read Gene Wolfe -- A great place to start, as pointed out by Ed in the podcast thread.

Lexicon Urthus by Michael Andre-Driussi -- There are many odd words tumbling about in Severian's narration, and most of them you will find defined in this book. As mentioned on the podcast, Wolfe was determined not to make up any words for these novels, instead often using obscure or forgotten, but nonetheless real, words each time he needed an exotic name. If you look up names of characters or places in this book, you are likely to be spoiled, but it's pretty safe to look up anything that's not capitalized.

GURPS New Sun -- This is a sourcebook for playing a tabletop role-playing campaign in the New Sun world. But even if you have no interest in RPGs, it seems to be a very thorough guide to the world revealed in the books. However, it's *EXTREMELY* spoilery, so I would only recommend it to those doing a re-read. By the same author as Lexicon Urthus.

Edit: Boo! SJG is listing this as "Out of Print." Looks like there's some new and used copies from third-party vendors on Amazon marketplace, though.

WolfeWiki -- Online wiki on things Gene Wolfe-ish, with its own Book of the New Sun section. I haven't looked through it thoroughly yet, so I'm not sure how spoilery it is.

Shadows of the New Sun: Wolfe on Writing / Writers on Wolfe - Many interviews with Wolfe, followed by a smattering of short essays by Wolfe. Lots of good stuff, and lots of spoilers, too.

For heavy-duty literary analysis of the New Sun, there's Robert Borski's Solar Labyrinth: Exploring Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun". From the small samples I've read, I'm pretty suspicious of Borski's approach being too contrived, and in any case I would NOT recommend it as a resource for first-time readers. But if you are heavy into literary theory, or this is a re-read for you, you might give it a look.

Please post any other New Sun resources here.


terpkristin | 4132 comments Is there a way to "bookmark" a thread? This looks like it'll be a useful one, from what I've heard.


Paul  Perry (pezski) | 489 comments terpkristin wrote: "Is there a way to "bookmark" a thread? This looks like it'll be a useful one, from what I've heard."

i've actually just bookmarked this in my browser as a resource


message 4: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Woodward | 1 comments Peter Wright's 'Attending Daedalus: Gene Wolfe, Artifice and the Reader' is an excellent reading of the Book of the New Sun.


Boots (rubberboots) | 499 comments For some reason I was under the impression that there is only four books in this series but I found The Urth of the New Sun today.


message 6: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Feb 19, 2011 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
The Book of the New Sun is comprised of four books - it's a novel in four parts.

Urth of the New Sun is a sequel or epilogue to Book of the New Sun. I'm not a big fan of it, but I will probably attempt a re-read after finishing this read of Book of the New Sun.

There is also the 4-part Book of the Long Sun and 3-part Book of the Short Sun that are very tangentially connected to Book of the New Sun.

Michael Andre-Driussi calls The Book of the New Sun + Urth of the New Sun "The Urth Cycle". All of these "Sun" books together are sometimes called "The Solar Cycle".


message 7: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Feb 21, 2011 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
I forgot another very important resource - "Castle of the Otter" which is a collection of Gene Wolfe's own essays about Book of the New Sun. It is included in the book Castle of Days.

He writes about his motivations behind writing it, the epigrams used in it, his use of names and obscure words, the writing process, various aspects of its world, and my favorite piece - "These Are the Jokes" - in which major and minor New Sun characters each tell one joke in their own distinctive voice.

Edit: Thanks to Google Books, you can view portions of the Castle of the Otter essay "Words Weird and Wonderful" in which he defines some of the obscure words from Shadow:

Words Weird and Wonderful online

Note that Google Books strategically omits certain pages, though, so that it remains a "preview."


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2845 comments I loved the Gaiman article. He makes me want to stick with it.


message 9: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
I haven't read all of "These Are the Jokes" because some of the characters I haven't met yet in my re-read, but Severian's and Eata's jokes made me actually laugh out loud. Jonas' seemed more of a parable than a joke.

It is a bummer Dorcas doesn't have one - it'd be interesting to see what she thought was funny.


message 10: by Traveller (last edited Apr 10, 2013 12:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 8 comments I know this is long after this discussion, but I wish I'd known that this group has such wonderful discussions before! This is an absolutely awesome find!


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2845 comments Traveller wrote: "I know this is long after this discussion, but I wish I'd known that this group has such wonderful discussions before! This is an absolutely awesome find!"

Welcome!

One of us... One of ussssss


message 12: by Traveller (last edited Apr 12, 2013 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller (moontravlr) | 8 comments My precccioussss! ;D

Thanks!


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