‘Genius’ is an overused word in modern cultural life, but occasionally it is bestowed reasonably and accurately, with little or no dissent. One such case is Gene Wolfe, described by The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as quite possibly the SF field’s most important author.
Winner of two Nebulas, four World Fantasy Awards, a John W. Campbell Memorial Award, a BFS, a BSFA and six Locus Awards – not to mention the SFWA Grand Master and World Fantasy Life Achievement Awards –Gene Wolfe is one the giants of the genre. We’ve sung his praises many times on the Gateway blog – here, here and here, to name but a few instances – and you can also see what no less a publication than The New Yorker thinks.
So: there’s no question but that you should read Gene Wolfe; the only question is where to start. We have three books in the SF Masterworks range that we think make excellent introductions to Wolfe’s work:
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that there are no eBook editions of Shadow and Claw or Sword and Citadel. That’s because we’ve made them available individually, under their original, wonderfully evocative titles: The Shadow of the Torturer, The Claw of the Conciliator, The Sword of the Lictor and The Citadel of the Autarch.
Needless to say, we recommend them all highly.