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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) GW Reads...
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 22:53:44 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

At 06:29 PM 2/3/98 EST, you wrote:
>[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]
>I just read over the GW transcript. Interesting stuff.
>Can anyone give me more info about the authors he mentions at the 
>end? I'll list them here for ya; reply private by email if ya prefer.
>Oh and what do ppl think of Paul Park and why is he compared with 
>GW's style? 

	I'll start with a stab at these.
	Park's original trilogy was a lupine tour-de-force; very Urthesque:
*Soldiers of Paradise,* *Sugar Rain,* and *The Cult of Lovingkindness.* The
only problem is that he really does not give enough information to figure
many things out, unlike Wolfe. The world of the "trilogy" (it's not really
that, but it is three linked books) seems to be populated by human beings
and intelligent manlike canines. An enjoyable, if puzzling read. Perhaps
Park needs his own Driussi! This is the set that Wolfe endorsed
	Park's later *Celestis* is a horse of a different color. At one level, it
is "about" white men in South Africa, but set on a far planet. The natives,
who have been "raised up" to be humans by medicine and technology, are
really pretty much animals. As one such person gradually reverts to its
"animal" status, it is unclear whether it is becoming more then human, or
just going insane. I found the book to be very ambiguous in perspective,
though a couple of reviews I read took sides with the aliens and read the
book as an attack on civilization.
	I doubt if Wolfe would be pleased with Park's latest fiction about Jesus
Christ, the title of which escapes me. Wolfe is very orthodox.

Terry Bisson:

	I only know "Bears Discover Fire," an interesting retelling of some
aspects of the Eden and Prometheus stories. Really weird and fun. Right up
there with that wonderful old story "Space-Time for Springers" by Leiber.
Bisson also completed *St. Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman* by Walter
Miller. Bisson evidently was close to Miller, who was a recluse. Miller was
a Catholic, like Wolfe, who did not hesitate to use theological themes in
his writing, as in his novella "Crucifixus Etiam." Perhaps Bisson is also.
Don't know.

 Patrick O'Leary, Nancy Kress, John Crowley, Ester M. 
>Fresner, Diana Wynn Jones.

	I can only discuss Crowley, whose writing is very literary and whose books
are very deep. *Engine Summer,* which is the place to start, is a warm and
beautiful narrative with many layers and dimensions, and which, like
Wolfe's books, can be re-read several times. I have not been able to track
down *The Deep,* Crowley's first. *Beasts,* his second, is also a complex
tale, and I need to re-read it to see why things are juxtaposed as they
are. Wolfe loved Crowley's *Little, Big,* a long novel about men and
fairies, which I'm only half through. Crowley's Big Opus is a quartet of
novels that begins with *AEgypt,* but which is not yet finished. I'm not
going to plunge in until I can read them all. Crowley shows a good
familiarity with the Bible; I suspect Wolfe likes him both for the depth of
his writing as well as for seemingly holding similar ideas. 

	Best I can do for you on the people mentioned.

	Wolfe loves Jack Vance; told me that none of Vance's works should ever be
allowed to go out of print. He also likes Stephen Lawhead, an evangelical
Christian fantasist, and has enjoyed Tim Powers (Eastern Orthodox Catholic)
and James Blaylock (an evangelical). All of these are heavenly influenced
by Chesterton and Lewis, as is Wolfe also.
	I understand, btw, that Wolfe will be attending the C.S.Lewis Centenary
celebration-conference sponsored by the Mythopoeic Society at Wheaton
College. I plan to attend as well. Anyone want information?


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