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On Blue's Waters by Gene Wolfe
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I've all of the volumes of Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun," but none of the "Book of the Long Sun," which I believe is really intended to be read before this book (and its sequels).
I did intend on sometime getting around to the Long Sun. However, this one was on a birthday wishlist, so it got bumped up! And - it is an excellent book.
The story is science-fantasy - in a far future, humanity has left the artificial world known as the Whorl, and has recolonized two planets, Green and Blue. On the earthlike Blue,
humanity faces both social disorder and the threat of the vampire-like inhumi, invading from Green. The narrator, a man named Horn, is recruited by some powerful individuals to seek out the missing religious(?) leader Silk, and return him to a place where he may galvanize society as a figurehead. A complex and adventurous journey ensues, but the really interesting aspect of the novel is its structure. It's in the form of a memoir written by Horn. He is not a professional writer, and as he sets down his story, in a rather meandering, prone-to-tangents style, we learn, simultaneously, what happened to him in the past, and what is currently happening to him. It's a book of clues and gradual
revelations... and a story of character.
Highly recommended. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
reread July 2011 ( )
  malrubius | Apr 2, 2013 |
This is the first book in 'The Book of the Short Sun', which follows 'The Book of the Long Sun'. I found the first 70 or so pages slow going, as they assumed a knowledge of the characters and setting that were in the previous series. However, it began to be interesting, and then became compelling. The story is told in flashbacks and digressions, with the narrator making retractions and corrections as he goes, which appeals to my love of an unreliable narrator.
The planet has gods and goddesses, even sirens, and feudal kingdoms and vampires -- all with a rather science fiction flavor to them. It's a rich and strange place, where I was often confused, but fascinated.
  mulliner | Jul 7, 2010 |
Challenging--but as brilliant as it gets: (...)
The Book of the Short Sun will be one of the finest reading experiences of your life... if you can get through the thing. The difficulty in extracting those rewards out of the text is considerable and not to be lightly discounted. Reading these books will require supreme effort. Willing readers will have to be intensely interested with how individuals relate to historical and semi-mythical figures, religion, and their own personality as influenced by these themes. These books are about as far as you can get from the popular concept of "space opera" and thrilling, "page-turning" fiction. An analogy to Moby Dick is probably very appropriate as that work due to the very slow pacing, the introspection, and the great literary symbols stomping through the setting reified and alive. Any scholar of literature should be deeply fascinated by these books.


There is no shame in not reading these books. They are terribly difficult and an exercise in stamina though we feel most people should at least try once. If you have attempted Shakespeare and been turned back because of the language; if you have attempted Moby Dick or novels by Henry James only to be turned away by the lack of progression in the plot; if you have attempted James Joyce's Ulysses but been baffled by the interior monologue, then Short Sun is probably going to daunt you as well. But we feel the rewards of this book are equal to those giants in literature.

  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Roy and Matt
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It is worthless, this old pen case I brought from Viron.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312872577, Paperback)

On Blue's Waters is the start of a major new work by Gene Wolfe, the first of three volumes that comprise The Book of the Short Sun, which takes place in the years after Wolfe's four-volume Book of the Long Sun. Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story. Though life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue, Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves. But Horn is the only one who can locate the great leader Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. So Horn sets sail in a small boat, on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk. The story continues in In Green's Jungles and Return to the Whorl.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:13 -0400)

Space hero Horn battles shapeshifting vampires who want to use humans as cattle. It happens on planet Blue where Horn is searching for the planet's missing leader. First volume in a trilogy.

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