I came to Endangered Species with decades of bias. I've been a Gene Wolfe fanatic since college, when I first read The Book of the New Sun. Since then I've read nearly everything the man has written. I've met him several times, and enjoyed his company immensely. I've actually gone in Wolfe-themed costume to a ball, and spent a while on the Urth email list.
I knew that I had lived my life among the shadows of shadows, that I had worked for money as I might have labored for fernseed, and spent my gains for watermarks on paper, paper in a picture, the picture in a book seen lying open in a projection from a lens about to crack in an empty room of a vacant house. I stood up then and tried to rub my eyes and found that I saw through my own hands, and that they possessed personalities of their own, so that it was as though I nuzzled two friends, the left quick and strong, the right weaker, withdrawn, and a little dull. I saw a man - myself, I might as well admit, now that he was myself - leave the room, walking through the misty wall and up into the sky as though he were climbing a hall: he turned toward me my own face cruel as a shark's, then threw it at me. I ducked and ran, lost at once until I met a tall, self-contained personage who was a tree, though I did not realize it until I had been with him for some time. (59-60)
The eye of the telescope looked upward giddy miles to where the last sphere, its sides pierced with yawning holes, swayed above the city. A treacher from Baton Rouge had paid her quarter, looked, and left a moment before. A man from Des Moines would come soon, but he would be too late. For a few seconds a figure stood at one of those holes; then another who struggled with him; then both were gone. (150)
Lenor, then, had been disappointed by Love. She had (afterward) been disappinted by hate as well, and the experience had drained her for thirteen years, leaving her a women - a tastefully, an inexpensively, a sometimes not very neatly dressed woman - happy to arrive at her desk early every weekly morning... (368)