i've kind of recently gone bonkers over gene wolfe. the once & future kingtycoon pointed me in his direction & i've yet to look back. when i got there, i was already neck deep in dying sun mythology on my own; i'd been all about the peculiar malady of sunspots for quite some time, & they featured prominently in the eschatology of my constructed universe. i won't, however, stand up here & lie to you. i have stolen, sometimes almost whole cloth, from the book of the new sun. how can you not? the smart odds on the city of nessus are that it is the former (future?) city of buenos aires, on account of wolfe wanting to make an elaborate not to borges. with that sort of groundwork, it isn't unexpected to find that the entire series is best described as a labyrinth. in fact, since i've finished reading all of his fiction i have on hand, i've been gutting the backlog of litcrit on him that i've stocked up. most of it focuses on the book of the new sun but i've got to tell you, i really thing the book of the long sun is better. true, the complexity isn't as sprawling, but that gives him time to develop the story in a more satisfying & visceral way. a very catholic couple of books (or quartet, as you count them), which you would think would get under my skin, but quite the opposite. you keep laquering on the stain, gene, & i'll keep peeling the varnish away. right now i'm a little bit anxious for the book of the short sun series to come in, so i can get that started. i'm very, very excited about it, as a sequel to the long sun series.