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From: Patri10629@aol.com
Subject: Re: (whorl) Wolfe Article & Wolfe encounters
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 20:03:36 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Hello Michael (Mantis)

Thanks for kind words re: my novel Door Number Three.

DOH! as Homer would say. 

The author of the article is George Aichele Jr.:
"Self-Referentiality in Gene Wolfe's 'Seven American Nights'", Journal of the
Fantastic in the Arts, Vol. 3, No. 2, Whole No. 10, 1991-- Journal of the
Fantastic in the Arts, 1157 Temple Trail, Stow, OH 44224.  Editor was: Carl
B. Yoke.

Here I was so proud of myself for getting all these academic reference
numbers right. And I forget to mention who wrote it!

My silence (lurking really) is based on intimidation.  I'm amazed by the
breadth of knowledge displayed by the people who've read both the New Sun and
The Long Sun books.  And I'm enjoying all the contributions.

I've posted here  before.  But what I really have to say is that I adore the
Long Sun books.  They seem to me to be a pinnacle of the craft of Science
Fiction.  I've read them three times and they have yet to stop amazing and
flabbergasting me.  Wolfe does more in a paragraph than most writers do in a
chapter.  Why isn't he more appreciated?  I say "Gene Wolfe" to "mainstream"
readers and they crinkle their foreheads.  We are talking a modern master

Two Wolfe stories that might give folks pleasure:

I had the privilege of sharing dinner with Neil Gaimen at the WFC in October
95. Mightily intimidated--I adore his Sandman work, and have every issue and
book that has been printed.  I gushed about The Long Sun books and he
launched into an erudite (to me anyway)  reference to Chesterton's Father
Brown stories ( never read 'em) and Kipling's work (ditto, except for a few
poems) as influences on the Long Sun novels.  No one has brought it up here
(I think) so I'd be curious what you English Majors think:) In an online
interview--Wolfe mentioned the Chesterton/Father brown reference might be on

Also: I met Gene for the second time at the World Fantasy Convention in
Chicago.  The first time (in Baltimore)  I stood next to him happily and
stupidly unable to muster a word for 20 minutes:) 

A year later he was so sweet.  I had him autograph my Long Sun books and
mentioned I had reviewed the Long Sun series for the mag SF EYE (forthcoming
who knows when, but, like all the other issues, worth the wait).  I said,
(I'm still a bit amazed I could speak to the Man) "I hope I've done them
justice...but if I didn't, I'm sure you let me know:)"

"What have I done to deserve this abuse?" Gene said.

I had met him earlier and had mentioned Hating THERE ARE DOORS.  Still do.
 It almost prevented me from the exquisite pleasure of The New Sun books.
 Well, I wrote about it in the New York Review of Science Fiction.  I also
praised him mightily.  He had pointed a finger at my chest and said: "You're
That Guy!"

So as he signed my books I replied.  "I gave you Five compliments in that
review!  And One slam!  And all you remember is the slam!  Just like a

Wolfe paused for a moment and looked at the ceiling.  Then said, "They
weren't very Big compliments."

And I burst out laughing.

I just love him.


Patrick O'Leary


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