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Gene Wolfe and Ultan’s Library news

Two new stories: “Dormanna” and “Innocent”

Two new and very different short stories by Gene Wolfe are currently available for free on the web.

A gentle story of alien encounter, “Dormanna” is available on the Tor website as part of a series of five stories, each by a different author and all inspired by an illustration by John Jude Palencar.

In contrast, “Innocent” is as disturbing a tale as Wolfe has ever written, a criminal’s extraordinary account of why he could not have committed the dreadful crime of which he is accused. An audio recording of the story is included in issue 8 of Tales to Terrify.

(Actually, there’s a third Wolfe story newly on the web, though it’s not a new story per se. Thanks to Simon Fletcher for pointing out that “The Legend of Xi Cygnus” has been reprinted in Lightspeed magazine here.)

New ghost story from Wolfe

A new story by Gene Wolfe entitled “Why I was hanged” is included in the anthology Ghosts by Gaslight, edited by Jack Dann and Ultan’s Library contributor Nick Gevers.

Described as a collection of “stories of steampunk and supernatural suspense”, Ghosts by Gaslight is published by Harper Voyager. There are 16 other stories in addition to “Why I was hanged”, including contributions from Peter S. Beagle, Lucius Shepard and Robert Silverberg.

Gollancz 50th: The Book of the New Sun

British publisher Gollancz is celebrating 50 years of publishing science fiction and fantasy by republishing some of the best titles in their list, among them Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun.

Gaiman on Wolfe in Guardian

Today, May 14 2011, author Neil Gaiman writes about Gene Wolfe for the “My Hero” section of the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian previously (2009) ran a discussion of the Book of the New Sun as “Science Fiction’s Ulysses.”

Happy 80th birthday, Gene Wolfe!

Gene WolfeThe editors of Ultan’s Library should like to send Gene Wolfe many congratulations and warm best wishes on his 80th birthday, today 7 May 2011.

We wish him continuing health and vigour and avidly look forward to reading all the books, stories and essays which he has still to write.

Jonathan Laidlow & Nigel Price

Black Gate interviews Gene Wolfe

Superb interview with Gene this month at Black Gate:
blackgate.com interviews Gene Wolfe

Best of Gene Wolfe wins World Fantasy Award

The Best of Gene Wolfe has won the 2010 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. The collection was published by Tor and PS Publishing.

More info @Locus

Gene Wolfe Recovering from Heart Surgery

According to Locus, Gene had heart surgery on 24 April. It apparently went well and he is recovering with his family. Gene is 78.

Full article at Locus online.

The Wizard Knight Companion

Ultan Contributor Michael Andre-Driussi’s latest work of Wolfe scholarship, the Wizard Knight Companion, is now available to purchase from the assorted Amazons.

“The Lupine Scholar” – an interview with Michael Andre-Driussi

“The Lupine Scholar”

By Scott Wowra

Michael Andre-Driussi is a courageous sort. After all, only a handful of brave scholars gleefully plummet into the literary mazes of science fiction’s Daedalus, American author Gene Wolfe. In this endeavor, Mr. Andre-Driussi has few peers. Michael’s painstaking research produced LEXICON URTHUS, the Rosetta Stone of Mr. Wolfe’s award-winning tetralogy THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN and coda THE URTH OF THE NEW SUN.

For the uninitiated reader, THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN is full of bizarre and seemingly counterfeit words like omophagist (an eater of raw flesh) and cherkaji (Persian light cavalry). In the early 1980s, frustrated readers accused Mr. Wolfe of deliberately fabricating unusual words to confuse them. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of the strange words that appear in THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN are real. And they remind us just how odd language can sound without science fiction authors inventing new words that lack inherent meaning.

In response to his critics, Mr. Wolfe produced the essay “Words Weird and Wonderful” in THE CASTLE OF THE OTTER (1982) to demonstrate that, in fact, all the words he used in THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER were genuine. The brief essay was an incomplete dictionary covering the first book in his tetralogy. Mr. Wolfe wisely left the rest of the work up to the reader.

And that leads us to Michael Andre-Driussi, the lexicographer of THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN and a science fiction writer in his own right. What sort of person tirelessly tracks down the definition of obscure words, creating hundreds of 3×5 index cards in the process? Undoubtedly, the same sort of person crafty enough to pen them in THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN. In a series of email interviews, I set out to learn more about Michael Andre-Driussi, a leading Lupine scholar.

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