Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Gene Wolfe / Endangered Species


Endangered Species

by Gene Wolfe

Three stories by Gene Wolfe about mysterious women

Wolfe, whose tetralogy The Book of the New Sun was the most acclaimed science fiction series of the 1980s, offers his second collection, a hefty volume of over 30 stories in a variety of genres--SF, fantasy, horror, mainstream. Many of them are variations on themes and situations found in folklore and fairy tales; Wolfe's deconstructions/reconstructions are provocative, multilayered, resonant. Occasionally, too, they seem intentionally enigmatic. Two of the stories, ``The Cat'' and ``The Map,'' are set in the universe of his New Sun novels. ``A Cabin on the Coast'' tells of a promising politician who loses his lover to the fey folk living in the sea. He strikes a bargain for her return, promising to undergo 20 years of servitude. When his lover finally returns, he has lost his youth, and with it, we assume, his future. ``In the House of the Gingerbread'' is a variation on ``Hansel and Gretel'' rewritten as a contemporary detective story; and ``The Detective of Dreams'' is an Arabian Nights tale as told by G. K. Chesterton--its spiritual subtext is made explicit in the end. A predominance of excellent stories makes this a rewarding book.


No comments:

Post a Comment