Fans mourn death of Sci-fi pioneer

Gene Wolfe passed away at 87 years of age.

April 30, 2019 12:52
1 minute read.
Holzer Books

At Holzer Books. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Gene Wolfe, one of science fiction’s most highly regarded authors, passed away on April 14 of Cardiovascular disease. He was 87 years old.

Wolfe was a prolific writer, having published over 200 short stories and novellas as well as several novels to critical acclaim. His most well-known work, The Book of the New Sun series, as well as its follow-ups The Book of the Long Sun series and The Book of the Short Sun series, were landmarks in the science fiction genre and helped codify – or according to some, perfected – the Dying Earth sub-genre of science fiction.

Though never the most successful author in terms of popularity and sales, Wolfe’s work was always held in high esteem by his peers and by his fans, with many regarding him as not only one of the greatest science fiction writers, but one of the greatest American writers overall.

Washington Post reporter Michael Dirda called The Citadel of the Autarch by Wolfe "the greatest fantasy novel written by an American."

British-Jewish fantasy and comic-book writer Neil Gaiman called Wolfe a personal hero because he kept "trying new ways of writing," noting he was "the finest living male American writer of SF and fantasy – possibly the finest living American writer," The Guardian reported 

He was known for his unique style, utilizing heavy catholic symbolism and imagery in his stories, which were often told in the first person perspective by unreliable narrators. This was because “Real people are unreliable narrators all the time, even if they try to be reliable narrators,” he explained in an interview with Nova Express in 1998.

Wolfe’s influence is visible today in the many authors he inspired, such as Neil Gaiman and Patrick O’Leary.

He is survived by his son, two daughters and three granddaughters.

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