Hailed as "one of the literary giants of science fiction" by The Denver Post, Gene Wolfe is universally acknowledged as one of the most brilliant writers the field has ever produced. Winner of the World Fantasy Award for best fiction collection, Storeys from the Old Hotel contains thirty-one remarkable gems of Wolfe's short fiction from the past two decades, most unavailable in any other form.
Storeys from the Old Hotel includes many of Gene Wolfe's most appealing and engaging works, from short-shorts that can be read in single setting to whimsical fantasy and even Sherlock Holmes pastiches. It is a literary feast for anyone interested in the best science fiction has to offer.
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Warning in his introduction that this anthology contains ``some of my most obscure work,'' Wolfe ( Castleview ) goes on to briefly describe the background of the 34 ``storeys,'' which include some intriguing ideas. Unfortunately, the ideas are generally more provocative and interesting than the stories themselves. In ``Straw,'' for example, Wolfe postulates the invention of the hot-air balloon in 500 A.D.; the story, however, about five balloon soldiers carrying pincer maces and searching for food and straw, goes nowhere. Not entirely disappointing, the collection includes such highlights as ``In Looking-Glass Castle,'' ``The Recording'' and ``The Marvelous Brass Chessplaying Automation.'' Best is ``From the Desk of Gilmer C. Merton,'' a hilarious series of letters between an up-and-coming SF/horror writer and his agent. The bulk of the works remain either frustratingly short (``To the Dark Tower Came,'' ``Continuing Westward''), far too long (``Trip, Trap,'' ``The Rubber Bend'') or simply pointless (``The Flag,'' ``Redbeard''). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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December 14, 1995
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