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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) The Next Whorl
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 00:25:28 

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

(I thought I had already posted this, but I must have screwed up as I find
no evidence---late night and under influence, arrrgh.)

Oyez! News directly from David Hartwell, Wolfe's editor. Wolfe has not yet
turned in the first volume of Short Sun, but it is expected August-Sept. 
His pattern is as follows: He writes a first draft of all the books (and
there may be four!), then he revises them for consistency. Then he
polishes, book by book, and this typically takes him nine months, so if the
first one comes in Aug-Sept, you can count on your fingers what the
publishing schedule will be, starting with fall '98 (no room in the spring
list, says Hartwell). I'd figure spring '99 next, then it depends on whim
to a degree (from our POV, not necessarily Tor's).

More news: Yes, there may be more Soldier books---there have been many,
many reader requests, and Hartwell himself is fond of them. But there are
problems. Hartwell confirmed my assumption that Wolfe, in perfectionist
mode, found the period details difficult, but said there was a serious
second problem from a publisher's viewpoint. Latro's memory failure,
established in the first 100 pages of the first book (and a brilliant 100
pages, said he) is a stumbling block for anyone starting with any
subsequent book. Merely to put a "translator's note" in the beginning is,
in his opinion, not sufficient to clue in the new reader. I'm not certain
of that myself, but I pass it on.

I, myself,  read Gibson's Sprawl series backward, starting with Mona Lisa
Overdrive and ending with Neuromancer, and enjoyed them very much, so I do
understand Hartwell's concern. If I had picked up Soldier of Arete first, I
think I would have bogged down quickly.


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