1 minute read

Gene Wolfe (Gene Rodman Wolfe) Biography

(1931– ), (Gene Rodman Wolfe), The Fifth Head of Cerberus, The Devil in a Forest

American writer of science fiction and fantasy, born in Brooklyn, educated in Texas. Wolfe's vision of life is eccentrically conservative, hierarchical, and grave. He began to attract critical attention with The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972), whose three intricately linked novellas comprised a profound analysis of the colonial mentality within an orthodox science fiction framework. The Devil in a Forest (1976) retold the Wenceslaus story. The climax of his career was the publication of The Book of the New Sun (4 volumes, 19803); set in a distant future, it is in the form of a confessional autobiography of its protagonist, a journeyman torturer who may also be a messiah. Other works include the novels Peace (1975), Free Live Free (1984), There Are Doors (1988), and Castleview (1990); Soldier in the Mist (1986) and Soldier of Arete (1989), reworkings of ancient Greek myths; and the series comprising Nightside the Long Sun (1993), Lake of the Long Sun (1994), and Caldé of the Long Sun (1994). The Island of Doctor Death and Other Short Stories (1980) and Endangered Species (1989) are short-story collections. See also space opera.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Woking Surrey to Æ