The Book of the New Sun ( – ) is a series of four science fantasy novels or one four-volume novel written by American author Gene Wolfe. Alternatively. Start by marking “The Book of the New Sun (The Book of the New Sun #)” as Want to Read: Hardcover, 1st Science Fiction Book Club Edition, pages. Gene Wolfe was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. Beneath the dying sun the disgraced torturer, Sev. Volume Four of the Book of the New Sun. The long awaited sequel to Gene Wolfe’s four-volu.
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The Book of the New Sun [Gene Wolfe] on cotubesina.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of . In my ignorance I hadn't realised The Book of the New Sun is actually four novels; my edition was of the first two, The Shadow of the Torturer. Detailed summaries and commentary on the Book of the New Sun series and perhaps other stuff by Gene Wolfe. A personal project of sorts. Please do not edit .
It rivals "Moby Dick" in linguistic complexity. Frankly, my site worked overtime using fast Wikipedia and Dictionary look-ups features for the vocabulary used. Often, multiple times on a single page! The challenge is two fold: I am telling you, the vocabulary used would have driven William F. Buckley Jr. I read a lot and have a Master's I am 59 and have a gracious amount of books under my proverbial "belt".
It is written in the first person in the very distant future as a memoir of sorts. The original writer from the future has a sort of photographic memory which is used to add credibility to the detail of the story.
The actual author I. So, the actual author is merely a translator. He states that there are numerous word substitutions for various reasons as it is set in the future. It spans European and Arab cultural references and terminology references.
The work is impressive and very much worth the read. I caution anyone who attempts to read this to use a reader. The fast look-up capability is essential to appreciating the work. Reading a hard copy would be an effort in frustration unless you have a Masters or PhD in literature along with advanced degrees in ancient history.
I love this book. I suppose I love for the piece as a work of literature, but I think I love even more because it made me work so hard to read the work in a way needed to appreciate it.
Highly recommended! I have read several other reviews that give a poor rating. This novel is set on Earth with the sun dying. One of the attackers is killed by one of the man-apes, who had its hand cut off by Severian in the battle in the cave. The ape gestures its stump at Severian, wanting him to do something with it, but Severian does not know what. Severian prepares to execute Agia, but, still unable to hate her, lets her go and returns to Saltus, where he and Jonas are kidnapped by Vodalus' gang for having agreed to execute one of its members.
Severian recalls to Vodalus that he saved his life some years past, so Vodalus allows Severian to enter his service. Severian and Jonas attend a midnight dinner with Vodalus, where they consume Thecla's roasted flesh, which, when combined with an alien substance, allows Thecla's memories to live within Severian. Given the task to deliver a message to a servant in the House Absolute, the Autarch's seat of power, Severian and Jonas set off to the north.
They are attacked by a flying creature who feeds on the heat and life force of living beings, and escape only by tricking the creature into attacking and killing a nearby soldier instead. Severian feels guilty and, having a suspicion of the healing powers of the Claw, uses it to bring the soldier back to life. They are then captured by guards of the House Absolute and thrown into an antechamber designed to hold prisoners indefinitely.
Severian's Claw heals a wound Jonas receives during the night they spend there; then the pair escape some unknown horror using a pass phrase to open a secret door — Severian remembers the phrase using Thecla's memory. Walking the corridors of the House Absolute, Jonas is revealed to be a robot who once crash-landed on earth and is now partly covered by human flesh, and steps into a mirror and disappears, promising to return for Jolenta when he is healed.
Severian is lost and eventually encounters the Autarch himself, to whom he swears service, upon being shown a portal to another universe. Talos, and Baldanders, who are preparing to once again perform the play they put on in the first book. Severian participates again, but the play is cut short when Baldanders flies into a rage and attacks the audience, revealing that aliens are among them.
The band is scattered and Severian finds them a distance away the next morning, heading north. Talos and Baldanders part ways with Severian and Dorcas at a crossroad, Severian heading toward Thrax, and the giant and his physician headed toward Lake Diuturna. The waitress Jolenta tries to have Talos take her with him, but he has no more use for her now that the plays are no longer necessary, and Severian is forced to take her.
As they head north, Jolenta is attacked by a "blood bat" and becomes ill. It is revealed that she had been scientifically altered by Dr. Talos to be gorgeous and desirable, but is quickly becoming sickly and unattractive. Soon the trio meets an old farmer who tells them they must pass through an enigmatic stone city to get to Thrax.
Upon arriving at the ruinous city, Severian sees a pair of witches initiate a dream-like event in which ghostly dancers of the stone town's past fill the area and engage with the witch's servant, who is actually Vodalus's lieutenant Hildegrin.
The Book of the New Sun Series
The book ends with Dorcas and Severian emerging from a stupor in the stone town, Jolenta dead, and the witches and Hildegrin gone. Having completed the journey he was sent upon when he was exiled from the Citadel, Severian takes up his position as the Lictor or Master of Chains of the city of Thrax.
His lover Dorcas falls into depression, in part because of her position as the partner of a reviled and feared figure in a strange city. She is also becoming increasingly upset by her mysterious past, and convinced that she must unravel its secrets, however disturbing they may turn out to be. Escaping an exotic creature that incinerates things, which seems to have come to Thrax to find him, Severian finds himself again showing mercy to a condemned prisoner and is forced to flee the city.
He and Dorcas separate, and he journeys alone into the mountains in search of the Pelerines, whom he believes to be the rightful keepers of the priceless relic which he carries, the Claw of the Conciliator. On the road, he battles his enemy Agia, and the Alzabo, a beast which acquires the memories of those it consumes, as well as a gang of men who have opted to become as animals.
In the wake of this violence, he takes an orphaned boy, little Severian, into his care. They encounter a village of men who claim to be sorcerers, and who possess more power than Severian at first believes.
Escaping amidst the threat that yet another dangerous creature has been set upon his trail, Severian discovers a monarch from the past, Typhon, in an ancient city. Typhon tries to manipulate Severian during a complex confrontation. Little Severian is killed. Continuing his journey, Severian is drawn into a local conflict on the side of a group of islanders being enslaved.
He then discovers that his old companions Dr. Talos and Baldanders are the enslavers, and is forced to battle the giant Baldanders. In the wake of this battle, in which his sword and the Claw are both at least apparently, in the latter case destroyed, Severian seeks to digest a series of revelations: As he does so, he finds himself approaching the edge of the war in the North.
Severian finds himself wandering around when he first happens upon a dead soldier whom he revives with the Claw. The soldier remains unable to speak as they make their way to the Pelerines camp. In the camp, Severian suffers a fever and is treated along with others injured in the war. While recovering, Severian judges a story telling contest. Before leaving he returns the Claw by putting it in an altar. Outside the church Severian is tasked to visit a friend of the Pelerines in the mountain, to bring him back from the danger of the war to the safety of the camp.
Severian arrives to the man's house but, due to time-travel related phenomena, the man disappears as he is led away. Upon returning to the camp, Severian discovers it has been attacked and abandoned. Severian soon finds the new camp where most of those he met during his stay are dead or dying.
Eventually, Severian is drawn into war against armies of the North composed of people known as Ascians. Severian nearly perishes but is rescued by the androgynous spy he met in the House Absolute, the Autarch of the Commonwealth.
Severian is nursed back to health and converses with the Autarch about his role in the Commonwealth. They board a flier and while heading out over the war zone, they are shot down.
Entering Carcosa Part 5: The Book of the New Sun
The Autarch is dying and tells Severian to consume the alzabo vial around his neck and consume his flesh, as Severian is to be the next Autarch. Severian does so and thus he acquires hundreds of consciousnesses that the Autarch once had. Before the Autarch died, he messaged Vodalus that the Autarch was aboard the flier.
Thea and a group of Vodalus' men descend on the crash site and rescue Severian from the Ascians. Severian is held prisoner and is visited by Agia who attempts to kill him once again. He survives and is rescued by the green time traveler whom he rescued earlier in The Claw of the Conciliator. The green man opens a passage through time in which Severian is then visited by an alien who takes the form of Master Malrubius and Triskele.
Malrubius tells him that he must one day face a challenge that will either allow man to return to the stars if he succeeds or strip him of his manhood, leaving him infertile, and unable to produce an heir if he fails. Severian realizes that the last Autarch must have failed which feminized him and gave him his androgynous looks.
After the meeting, Severian is left on a beach.
He discovers a bush covered in thorns. He claims the single black one, grown from a species of bush that grow exclusively white Claw shapes, and ponders the meaning of the Claw in relationship to higher beings, time-travel and the New Sun.
Severian makes his way back to Nessus aboard a ship whose crew revere him on sight. He visits with people of his past and assumes the role of Autarch. He returns to the waiter who slipped him the note in the Shadow of the Torturer saying that Agia had been there before.
The note was meant for Dorcas who reminded the waiter of his mother. A picture of Dorcas in a locket around the waiter's neck confirms this suspicion. Severian also notes that the waiter very much resembles himself and it is implied that the waiter is Severian's father.
The book ends with Severian exploring the citadel and retracing Triskele's steps through an underground building. Seeing the dog's footsteps and his own he follows the latter, returning to the Atrium of Time. The book is yet again a continuation of Severian's narration of the aftermath of his ascent to the throne and subsequent journey "between the suns" to be judged and win back the fountain of life that will rejuvenate the slowly dying sun and revive life on Urth.
When the book begins, Severian has already rewritten his accounts of before and is beginning his new log aboard the spaceship that will take him to Yesod, an enigmatic planet, home to the godlike beings who have the power to grant Urth and its sun a new lease on life.
Aboard the ship, Severian meets Zak, a mysterious being, who begins small and soon develops human form and turns out to be the all-powerful Tzadkiel of Yesod. Once in Yesod, Severian faces an immense task of facing all the deceased people he has encountered since his childhood, including Thecla and Master Malrubius. When he faces the tribunal to be judged by Tzadkiel, he is told that the trial was already successfully passed.
Severian is made the New Sun. After his return to Urth from Yesod, he finds the sun still dying, and that the New Sun is still very far, far away, but nevertheless moving relentlessly. He learns that many years have passed backwards. He also learns that he possesses healing power that he once attributed the Claw of the Conciliator. He encounters an earlier version of Typhon who attempts to kill him.
He manages to escape via the Corridors of Time. There, with the aid of a version of Tzadkiel, he travels back to the future. In his palace he finds his wife Valeria sitting on the throne attended by his old enemy Baldanders who has grown enough to match the size of an undine.
Shortly after Severian reveals himself, an apocalyptic flood washes away the citadel and much of the land of Urth, thus bringing destruction and rebirth. Severian, the main character and narrator to the series, can be interpreted as a Christ figure. His life has many parallels to the life of Jesus , and Gene Wolfe, a Catholic , has explained that he deliberately mirrored Jesus in Severian.
Mad Scientist : Genius Bruiser Baldanders. Magic Feather : The Claw of the Conciliator. It's heavily implied that it was just a prop all along, and that the miracles Severian credits to it came entirely from him. Talos and Baldanders. Talos, who clearly seems to be the leader, is a clever, glib conman with fox-like features.
Baldanders clearly comes off as the subordinate, and appears to be a Gentle Giant and rarely speaks. In actuality, Baldanders is some sort of Humanoid Abomination Mad Scientist who turns out to be a threatening villain, and Talos is an Artificial Human , who is his creation.
Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast : Severian frequently express convoluted personal theories about how women are wired. On the flip side, he also at one point encounters a woman who matter-of-factly tells him that men are motivated solely by lust for power, whether they want to admit that or not. Mathematician's Answer : Severian asks the Green Man where he will find Agia, and gets told "above ground.
He later spends some time in an underground cavern, and finds Agia waiting for him when he leaves it. Meaningful Name : Dr. Talos is named after a metal man from Classical Mythology , and does indeed turn out to be an Artificial Human. Baldanders has the name of a shapeshifting creature in German folklore. He is not what he seems, and turns out to be subject to unnatural growth. At first, the name Urth appears to be a corruption of the word "Earth".
But Urth is also one of the Norse Norns.
Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun
The naming of Venus Skuld and Mars Veroandi follow the pattern. Mechanical Evolution : In The Urth of the New Sun, the mechanical humanoid Sidero is revealed to be a robot evolved out of spacesuits with built-in artificial intelligence. It's unclear how long Urth has been this way.
Mega City : Nessus, which takes days just to travel out of the city. Mind Screw : Is Severian god? Is the whole thing a complicated twisting plot through multiple timelines?
Can we believe a quarter of what Severian is telling us? And many many others. Let's put it this way, there's enough Mind Screw in here to make Evangelion look like an episode of Sesame Street. Ironically, Severian writes that the purpose of his book is to avoid speculation about the events of his life. One can imagine Wolfe having tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote that. More Deadly Than the Male : There are no longer women torturers, because of how often they exceeded the punishments set out by the courts.
In fairness, this decision was made by a man who may have been extrapolating from one bad example. Fanservice : Jolenta is a deconstruction. Her carefully and sometimes painfully maintained figure is a source of inconvenience, and people hate her for being so attractive even as they lust after her.
Jonas is the only one who truly and unconditionally loves her for herself. He implies that, Urth being as ancient as it is, every other form of government has been tried and found to be worse in practice. It's implied that the coming of the New Sun will begin a new stage of humanity's evolution wherein something better might be possible.
Neologism : The book uses a variety of real but very obscure English words to describe concepts and entities in its far-future setting with no direct equivalents in our world.
One of these repurposings that has taken off in other novels and wider society is "fuligin", originally an obscure word for soot, to mean a colour that is an ultimate black, so dark that objects of its colour reflect no detectable light at all and appear as merely featureless black splotches to the human eye.
It has now been applied to recently-developed real ultra-black pigments, such as Vantablack. Passing the Torch : In the Commonwealth, the Autarch is not a hereditary position in theory at least , but one which is traditionally passed down to a member of the Commonality.
The Autarch does this to Severian. It's also the reason why so many Exultants the hereditary nobility dislike the Autarch. He Master Gurloes mispronounced quite common words: urticate, salpinx, bordereau.
Translation: string with nettles, the fallopian or eustachian tube, a memorandum listing documents Pet the Dog : Severian is usually pragmatic and self-interested to the point of sociopathy, but every so often he'll do something that implies that he does have a heart.
Examples include his initial Mercy Killing of Thecla that might have gotten him tortured to death in her stead an outcome he knew was likely, but which didn't stop him from confessing his actions to the masters unprompted , his sparing of Agia even when she had tried to kill him and made it clear that she'd try again, and his setting free Cyriaca even at the cost of his profession and the need for him to flee into the mountains to avoid the archon's wrath. He also at one point finds a literal dog nearly or possibly completely dead and nurtures it back to health.
Plant Hair : Severan goes to see a festival sideshow that supposedly has a future-telling plant man. Much to Severan's surprise, there is a indeed a Green Man. After a moment of silence Severan tries to get the conversation started, by mentioning he always imagined that a plant-man would have grass-like hair.
The Green Man finally talks, correcting Severian that he is not a plant. Public Execution : Severian is a public executioner and describes some of his jobs when he decides it's relevant to provide a setting for the story.
Rags to Royalty : Severian, as promised in chapter one. Recursive Precursors : The Hierogrammates were created by humanity in an earlier cycle of the Universe. They now forge the humanity of Severian's Universe.
Your race and ours are, perhaps, no more than each other's reproductive mechanisms. Robot Buddy : Severian unknowingly encounters one on his journey. It's Jonas, who is a robot that was fixed with organic material. Scavenger World : Gene Wolfe once described Urth as "the future where we sit at home and wait for the money to run out" - humanity has exhausted all the resources of the planet and can no longer support any level of technology higher than medieval.
Only the ruling class have access to higher levels of tech, which they get by trading for it with extra-terrestrials.
In The Claw of the Conciliator Severian runs into a village of "miners" who basically make a living by robbing graves. It's implied that all the resources have run out, so pillaging what we would consider archaeological ruins is the only way to gather resources. Show Within a Show : Dr. Talos' play "Eschatology and Genesis", which is an allegory for the overarching plot of the series. Space Is an Ocean : Not only are sailing metaphors used for space travelers, their crafts are actually made a lot like traditional sail boats.
In fact, not only are ordinary sailors sometimes employed on starships, but thanks to the difficulty of travel, other planets may as well be other continents as far as most people are concerned. Speaks in Shout-Outs : Soldiers from the Ascian empire. Any citizen of Ascian can only speak by quoting from the "Authorized Texts". It's another example of the dystopia Ascia is.
Spiritual Successor : To Jack Vance 's Dying Earth stories - both are set in a far future where science has decayed, and feature a dying sun. However, the process used by Dr. Talos to make her beautiful has left her effectively crippled and dependent on various lotions and chemicals only he can provide, without which it breaks down.
Star Killing : What's happening to the Old Sun. Apparently a black hole was sent into the Sun, causing it to enter a dimmer, red state without expanding into a giant. Stop Hitting Yourself : One of the devices the Torturer's Guild uses is the revolutionary, which implants in its victim an overpowering urge to harm themselves.
If they concentrate they can temporarily resist the compulsion, but inevitably they will unconsciously bite, choke, and tear at themselves, over and over again. The "demon" inside them weakens as they do, so most last for about a month. Solar CPR : What turns out to be the plot of the series. Sufficiently Advanced Aliens : The Hierodules are basically this. He and his followers claim to be working to return the decaying Urth to its former past glory.
It turns out Vodalus is in league with Abaia, who wants to prevent the New Sun from arriving. The sun is very dimmed and fading quickly — meaning that the other stars are now visible during the day. Theme Naming : Siblings such as Agilus and Agia are intentionally given similar names, also apparently telling the order of their birth.
Severian's name indicates he has an older sister, somewhere. Vodalus and all characters from the city of Nessus, including Severian himself, are named after saints though many of them little-known. Those Two Bad Guys : Dr. As there are, by decree, no female torturers, the guild raises such male infants as fall into their hands. Tracking Device : It's explicit that powers are guiding Severian's journey, so they'll need a way to keep tabs on him. Maybe through something that he will always keep with him, such as the Claw of the Conciliator?
Unreliable Narrator : Severian is one of the big ones, and it is sometimes lampshaded. He claims on several occasions to have an eidetic memory - but it's quite clear that he sometimes lies outright. He also omits details that he apparently considers unimportant or has difficulty understanding - this extends to major events that change the course of the story.
Further, Severian's verbose and usually significantly inconclusive philosophical ramblings tend to disguise the fact that he isn't smart enough to work out what's really going on. It is an alleged trait of some real-life mnemonists - shared by Severian - that they are passive acceptors, and combine a wealth of thought with surprisingly little intellect.
One reader went carefully through the novels and noticed that every single time Severian mentions his "eidetic" memory he goes on to recall something that's already happened in the novelBeneath the dying sun the disgraced torturer, Sev… More. This government regulation of language directly regulates the thought of Ascians. The description of a knight with a golden visor holding a flag aloft, for instance, is presented as simple fact; nonetheless, as we learn more, it becomes evident that this is no knight, but perhaps an astronaut, holding aloft an American flag.
The set-up is interesting and chillingly prescient. After his return to Urth from Yesod, he finds the sun still dying, and that the New Sun is still very far, far away, but nevertheless moving relentlessly. It has intertextuality. Compartilhe seus pensamentos com outros clientes. The story takes place a million years in Earth's future. In other projects Wikiquote. In the fantasy genre, coming of age tales abound.
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