Latest:

  • Review: Gene Wolfe’s ‘Operation ARES’
    A review by Martin Crookall of Gene Wolfe’s problematic and rarely discussed first novel, Operation ARES. A version of this review originally appeared on Crookall’s website in 2017 and is reprinted here with the author’s kind permission. Note that this review contains spoilers. (Crookall has written reviews of all of […]
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – A Review of Michael Andre-Driussi’s ‘The Book of the New Sun: A Chapter Guide’
    Hopefully, Michael Andre-Driussi needs no introduction for those interested in secondary resources on Gene Wolfe’s fiction. In the time before podcasts and easily accessible online forums, way back in 1994, the single best resource for information on Gene Wolfe’s most popular masterpiece, The Book of the New Sun, was […]
  • Posthistory 201
    In this new study of how human history is measured and portrayed in Gene Wolfe’s Solar Cycle, Michael Andre-Driussi reassesses the subject of his earlier essay “Posthistory 101” (originally published in Extrapolation, Vol. 37, No. 2,1996) and examines the textual evidence for estimating the duration of the Autarchy. 1: […]
  • Everything has to be true somehow
    Wolfe scholar Marc Aramini talks to Ultan’s Library co-editor Nigel Price about the progress of his massive critical review of all Wolfe’s published fiction, his approach to unlocking that author’s meanings, and the current state of Wolfe studies.

Reviews from Master Ultan’s shelves

Conversing with acolytes

Reading Gene Wolfe is dangerous work… It’s a knife-throwing act, and like all good knife-throwing acts, you may lose fingers, toes, earlobes or eyes in the process. Gene doesn’t mind. Gene is throwing the knives.

Neil Gaiman, How to read Gene Wolfe (2002)

Here my pen shall halt, reader, though I do not. I have carried you from gate to gate – from the locked and fog-shrouded gate of the necropolis of Nessus to that cloud-racked gate we call the sky, the gate that shall lead me, as I hope, beyond the nearer stars.

My pen halts, though I do not. Reader, you will walk no more with me. It is time we both take up our lives.

Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch (1982)