Gene (Rodman) Wolfe Thomas D. Clareson - Essay

Thomas D. Clareson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

While [science fiction fans] may continue to debate whether or not [The Book of the New Sun tetralogy] should be regarded as science fiction or fantasy, its recognition as a major work in the field has already been established. Its influence … should at least equal that of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy.

To begin with, Wolfe has created Urth, an imaginary world which matches, in the richness of its detail, those worlds of The Left Hand of Darkness, Dune, and Lord Valentine's Castle. His accomplishment cannot be too highly praised. The basic texture of the society centering upon Nessus, the City Imperishable, seems to be medieval, so that, coupled with a first person narrator, the...

(The entire section is 1052 words.)