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Shadow & Claw: The First Half of 'The Book of the New Sun' (Paperback)
This is the best fantasy/sci-fi story ever published. Wolfe likes to set stereotypes and tropes on their head, and he writes a complex and densely layered story about a torturer’s apprentice in a beautiful, dying Earth. But as complicated and fantastical as the story gets, Wolfe doesn’t bother explaining anything. Was that guy a robot? Is that lady his sister? What’s up with that giant anyway? Part of the beauty of Wolfe’s writing is that he doesn’t make up words for his fantasy world. Instead, he uses antiquated terminology that approximates what he’s trying to describe, giving his world a very real sense of age and familiarity.— From Chris
The Book of the New Sun is unanimously acclaimed as Gene Wolfe's most remarkable work, hailed as "a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis" by Publishers Weekly, and "one of the most ambitious works of speculative fiction in the twentieth century" by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Shadow & Claw brings together the first two books of the tetralogy in one volume:
The Shadow of the Torturer is the tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession -- showing mercy toward his victim.
Ursula K. Le Guin said, "Magic stuff . . . a masterpiece . . . the best science fiction I've read in years!"
The Claw of the Conciliator continues the saga of Severian, banished from his home, as he undertakes a mythic quest to discover the awesome power of an ancient relic, and learn the truth about his hidden destiny.
"Arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced [is] the four-volume Book of the New Sun."--Chicago Sun-Times
"The Book of the New Sun establishes his preeminence, pure and simple. . . . The Book of the New Sun contains elements of Spenserian allegory, Swiftian satire, Dickensian social consciousness and Wagnerian mythology. Wolfe creates a truly alien social order that the reader comes to experience from within . . . once into it, there is no stopping."--The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Gene Wolfe is the author of two dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. Possibly the most critically acclaimed science fiction/fantasy author of our time, he is most famous for the bestselling, Nebula Award-winning The Book of the New Sun tetrology in the Solar Cycle, as well as the World Fantasy Award winners The Shadow of the Torturer and Soldier of Sidon. Wolfe is also a prolific writer of distinguished short fiction, which has been collected in many volumes over the last four decades, including the award-winning Storeys from the Old Hotel and The Best of Gene Wolfe.
Wolfe has received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award, and six Locus Awards, among other honors. In 2007, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was awarded the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award.
Wolfe lives with his wife, Rosemary, in Barrington, Illinois.
“The Book of the New Sun establishes [Wolfe's] pre-eminence, pure and simple....The Book of the New Sun contains elements of Spenserian allegory, Swiftian satire, Dickensian social consciousness and Wagnerian mythology. Wolfe creates a truly alien social order that the reader comes to experience from within...once into it, there is no stopping.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Magic stuff...a masterpiece...the best science fiction I've read in years!” —Ursula K. Le Guin
“Arguably the best piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced.” —Chicago Sun-Times