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Gene Wolfe: Home

This is an introductory guide to the works of American science fiction author Gene Wolfe, for interested readers and researchers

Gene Wolfe

This is an introductory guide to the works of American science fiction author Gene Wolfe, for interested readers and researchers. While this guide is designed for any reader, it will be most helpful to those readers with access to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, as most sources compiled in this guide are available/accessible through Penn Libraries. 

"It is possible I already had some presentiment of my future. The locked and rusted gate that stood before us, with wisps of river fog threading its spikes like the mountain paths, remains in my mind now as the symbol of my exile. That is why I have begun this account of it with the aftermath of our swim, in which I, the torturer's apprentice Severian, had so nearly drowned."

From the opening paragraph of Gene Wolfe's The Shadow Of The Torturer, being the first part of The Book of the New Sun

How To Use This Guide

As stated above, this guide hopes to serve as an entryway to the works of Gene Wolfe. While numerous Wolfe works as well as novels by related authors are covered here, there is an emphasis on Wolfe's most popular and studied work, The Book of the New Sun. Additionally, other, more traditional reference sources such as topic-specific encyclopedias and dictionaries are supplied here as well. This is because, as a reader will discover within the first few pages of any Wolfe novel, his work is dense with allusions--usually literary, religious, mythological, and occult. Most Wolfe works are also, among other things, mysteries--these reference materials may help the determined reader understand the allusive hints and clues that Wolfe scatters throughout his pages.

Lastly, this guide may be of some service to the Penn student beyond the works of Gene Wolfe by exhibiting some of Penn Libraries' invaluable and interesting resources, that they may otherwise not have encountered. 

Good luck! 


"Bestiary: Hyena pillaging Grave -- Hyena devours shrouded corpse in sarcophagus" in Warner, G., Queen Mary's Psalter (1912) , p. 35; pl. 157 found on The Index of Medieval Art

(Note--while the images on this page are not directly related to Gene Wolfe or his works, I've included them here because they help to approximate the aesthetic that Wolfe's works often cultivate. As well, I encourage interested persons to explore The Index of Medieval Art database these images are pulled from.)

"How To Read Gene Wolfe"

This short essay by author and longtime friend of Mr. Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, lets the prospective Wolfe reader know what they might expect--and unexpect...