Castle of Days (1992)


Part I: Gene Wolfe's Book of Days

Reprints contents of Gene Wolfe's Book of Days (1981) in its entirety.

Part II: The Castle of the Otter

Reprints contents of The Castle of the Otter: A Book about the Book of the New Sun (1982) except for the bio-bibliography compiled by Gordon Benson, Jr.

Part III: Castle of Days

  1. Writers
    1. Lone Wolfe (1981)
    2. Peace of My Mind (1985)
    3. Algis Budrys I (First appeared in different form in Twentieth Century Science Fiction Writers, 1984)
    4. Algis Budrys II (1992)
    5. The Outline of Sanity (1982)
    6. From a Letter to Nancy Kress, September 1987 (1987)
    7. Explaining Nancy Kress (Trinity and Other Stories, 1985)
    8. Introduction for Episodes of the Argo (Episodes of the Argo, 1990)
    9. From a Letter to Ron Antonucci, June 1983 (1983)
    10. From a Chain Letter to George R.R. Martin and Greg Benford, July 1982 (1982)
    11. Nebula Awards Speech (1982)
    12. Vunce Around der Momma's Kitchen (1983)
    13. From the Desk of Gilmer C. Merton (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1983)
  2. Writing
    1. Where I Get My Ideas (The Science Fiction Source Book, 1984)
    2. (Writers of the Future, Vol. II, 1986)
    3. Four Letters
    4. Achieving Dramatic Scenes: The Cat in the Starfleet's Attic (1992)
    5. The Writer's Tool Kit (1992)
    6. A Few Points About Knife Throwing (Fantasy Newsletter, 1983)
  3. Books
    1. The Right of Things to Come (1978)
    2. The Ethos of Elfland (Twilight Zone Magazine, 1987)
    3. How Science Will Conquer the World for Fantasy (Fantasy Newsletter, 1982)
    4. From a House on the Borderland (Horrorstruck, 1987)
    5. Secrets of the Greeks (1990)
    6. From a Letter to Larry McCaffery, October 1987 (1987)
    7. Kipling's Influence (1989)
    8. Where Castle? (1988)
    9. AussieCon Two Guest of Honor Speech (1985)
    10. The Pirates of Florida and Other Implausibilities (1991)


  • Tor hardcover, December 1992
  • Tor Orb trade paperback, April 1995, cover art by Richard Bober


This 1992 collection combines two out-of-print books, the short story collection Gene Wolfe's Book of Days (1985) and the essay collection The Castle of the Otter: A Book about the Book of the New Sun (1982), with a collection of (mostly) newer essays making up approximately 30% of the book.


  • Back cover blurb from the Tor Orb paperback:
"A treasure trove .... Aficionados will find this a marvelous and fascinating collection, and readers new to Gene Wolfe should find this a welcome place to enter." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Washington Post has called Gene Wolfe "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced." This volume joins together two of his rarest and most sought-after works -- Gene Wolfe's Book of Days and The Castle of the Otter -- and adds thirty-nine short essays collected here for the first time, to fashion a rich and engrossing architecture of wonder.

"Castle of Days is also a flight of yesterdays, a twinkle of todays, and a promise of tomorrows. Charming and entertaining from drawbridge to tower-tip." -- Roger Zelazny

"This is one of those books I've been waiting for without knowing it. Under one cover, some of the best short fiction I've ever read, insight into The Book of the New Sun that makes that amazing work even more fun to read, and, to top it off, criticism and comments on writing and literature from one of the most penetrating minds in the field." -- Steven Brust