THE VERY BEST OF GENE WOLFE by Gene Wolfe, intro by Kim Stanley Robinson, dj by J.K.Potter. Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK; PS Publishing; 2009. 1st edition hardcover.
Synopsis / Contents:
Gene Wolfe, renowned for his fine storytelling and the subtlety of his prose, is regarded by many as one of America's finest living authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His multi-volume novels, such as The Book of the New Sun, The Wizard Knight, and the Chronicles of Latro, stand as landmarks of fantastic literature. And Wolfe's short fiction, eloquent, humane, cunning, has enjoyed enormous praise too. Thus The Very Best of Gene Wolfe, a massive career retrospective featuring thirty-two stories chosen by the master as his finest, is a genuine literary event.
Here are the stunningly different tales that established Wolfe as one of the leading writers of the Seventies New Wave: "The Fifth Head of Cerberus", set on a colony planet whose macabre social system may hide a horrifying truth about the very nature of the human species; "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories", in which a young boy's imagination darkly transforms his troubled life in a broken household; "The Hero as Werwolf", an astonishing gothic enquiry into the roots of what it is to be human; "Seven American Nights", a baroque masterpiece of altered perception and authorial misdirection set in a ruined America; and many more. And then there are Wolfe's exquisitely crafted meditations on faith and the life of the spirit: the famously revelatory "The Detective of Dreams", the bewitching "La Befana", the wondrous "The Eyeflash Miracles", the elusive "The God and His Man", which casts a fascinating sidelight on The Book of the New Sun.
Also well represented are Wolfe's later fictions--playful but infinitely profound: "And When They Appear", about a Christmas spent in the shadow of civilization's collapse; "Bed and Breakfast", in which a traveller skirts the borders of Hell; "Petting Zoo", a vision of cartoons transforming the world; "The Tree is My Hat", a disturbing South Seas adventure which is also an excellent lead-in to Wolfe's most recent novel, An Evil Guest. And more.
Unique to this PS limited edition is the powerful Yuletide novelette, "Christmas Inn". The Very Best of Gene Wolfe is without a doubt the collection of the year.
Gene Wolfe was born in 1931, and served as a G.I. in the Korean War. After many years working as an engineer--both a practising one and an engineering journalist--he turned in 1984 to full-time fiction writing, having already laid the basis for an acclaimed creative career with his early masterpieces, The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972), Peace (1975), and The Book of the New Sun (1980-83).
Subsequent works, always extremely ambitious and highly praised, have included The Urth of the New Sun (1987), There Are Doors (1988), The Book of the Long Sun (1993-96), The Book of the Short Sun (1999-2001), The Wizard Knight (two volumes, 2004), and three linked novels set in Ancient Greece and Egypt: Soldier of the Mist (1986), Soldier of Arete (1989), and Soldier of Sidon (2006). Wolfe's major story collections are The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories (1980), Endangered Species (1987), Stories from The Old Hotel (1988), Castle of Days (1991), Strange Travellers (2000), Innocents Aboard (2004), and Starwater Strains (2005).
Gene Wolfe has lived in Barrington, Illinois, for many years, with his wife Rosemary and a dog called Bobby.
Fine in fine dj. Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED numbered edition of 300 copies.