Gene Wolfe

The wife just came home from the bookstore, and, as a present, gave me Gene Wolfe’s THE SORCERER’S HOUSE. Mr. Wolfe’s writing is a hit or miss affair with me. Some of his works (ON BLUE’S WATERS, SHADOW OF THE TORTURER) I like without reservation. Some I like and think have a confusing or not-quite-right ending (FREE LIVE FREE, DEVIL IN THE FOREST) . Some I think are just not for me (CASTLEVIEW, THERE ARE DOORS). Nonetheless, he is the only living author I will buy in hardback just on the strength of his name, not willing to wait for the paperback to come out. Persons as different from each other in taste and style as myself and the great Neil Gaiman both admire and magnify Mr. Wolfe.

I have met him at conventions. He does not remember me, but he and I went to mass together. Mr. Wolfe is a fan of G.K. Chesterton.

Inside knowledge: I once asked my editor (who is also Mr. Wolfe’s editor) if he understands Gene Wolfe’s work. Mr. Hartwell gave me an earnest but sheepish look and said, "In this business, you have to make allowances for genius."