The Urth of The New Sun


  • First publication Tor hardcover, November 1987; cover design by Carol Russo.



Complete plot summary -- SPOILERS


  • The Urth of the New Sun is a coda (a concluding passage) for The Book of the New Sun, and continues the story of Severian after the events of that tetralogy.
  • Sources of quotes
  • Meanings of names
  • References to other works
  • Etc.


Unresolved Questions

Blurbs ... in progress.

  • 1987 Tor Hardcover
    • "Gene Wolfe is one of the literary giants of science fiction." - Denver Post
    • "The artistry, talent and hard work which Gene Wolfe brings to his writing are unequalled in the SF field." - Fantasy Review
    • "What makes The Book of the New Sun so exciting is that Wolfe ... forges what amounts to a new kind of science fiction. Wolfe's principle purpose is to explore the relationships between morals, feelings and actions ... anyone who appreciates the workings of a disciplined imagination will find both pleasure and profit in sharing Severian's journey." - Science Digest
    • "Gene Wolfe's new book soars, falls free, runs like the river that runs through it from universe to universe, between life and death and life again. The groundnote of it all is human pain, so that this fantasy has the weight of vision. Wolfe is our Melville." - Ursula K. Le Guin
  • 1997 Orb Paperback (Unique Blurbs)
    • From the Front Cover:
      • "The Urth of the New Sun is a fine coda to what is arguably the finest piece of literature American science fiction has yet produced, the four-volume Book of the New Sun. - Chicago Sun-Times
    • From the Back Cover:
      • "Gene Wolfe's four-volume magnum opus, The Book of the New Sun, is one of the modern masterpieces of imaginative literature ---- an evocation of a world so far in the future that magic and technology, poetry and science, are indistinguishable, a world heavy with time but not yet bereft of hope, a world brought to life by Mr. Wolfe's unique blend of slightly archaic diction and ever-surprising vocabulary. Readers familiar with these volumes will find much to enjoy in The Urth of the New Sun." The New York Times
      • "The first good thing about The Urth of the New Sun is the joyful confidence of its narrative voice, rejoicing in its own skills like a juggler tossing paradoxes instead of eggs. The second good thing is the seamlessness with which the book becomes an integral part of Severian's saga. Just as there was nothing in the first four books to suggest a planned sequel, so there is nothing in the sequel to suggest that it is an afterthought. Wolfe carried off the amazing trick of extending the length of a published novel so that it is one quarter as long again, while keeping it a single work of art. The Book of the New Sun is now a single novel in five volumes, and it looks as if it has never been anything else." - Foundation
    • From the Inside Front Cover:
      • "In this book as in the four preceding volumes, Wolfe is waging guerrilla warfare on appearances and challenging established conventions of narration. Wolfe does not so much answer questions raised previously as rephrase them by depicting them in four dimensions." - American Book Review
      • "Another brilliantly inventive, dense, demanding, at times intellectually stunning effort." - Kirkus Reviews
      • "This is another extraordinary Wolfe novel, in which his language and imagery reach back to the roots of modern fantasy, to Poe, to myths and Bible stories." - Publishers Weekly
      • "If this book is less brilliant than its predecessor, the flaw is one that is hard to spot with the unaided eye." - The Times (London)
      • "Wolfe's offbeat sense of humor and grotesque inventiveness enliven The Urth of the New Sun like monsters capering in the margins of a medieval manuscript." - Locus