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Questions tagged [the-book-of-the-new-sun]

For questions about the 1980's book series "The Book of the New Sun" by Gene Wolfe. Always use in conjunction with the [solar-cycle] tag.

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In The Shadow of the Torturer, the torturers live in a tower made from metal. Is it ever stated that this tower is a long disused spaceship?

In The Shadow of The Torturer by Gene Wolf, the tower the torturers live in is made from metal. I found the silent lips and pale, closed eyes more terrible than the agonized masks painted on the ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the full name of the torturers' guild in "The Book of the New Sun"?

I know a longer name is "The Order of the Seekers for Truth and Penitence," but I remember there being an even more formal name mentioned at one point. Something that is like the "The ...
jwezorek's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
243 views

Was the backward-running time stream of the cacogens intended as an allusion to T. H. White's Merlyn?

The climax of The Sword of the Lictor (and, in many ways, the climax of the entire Book of the New Sun) comes in two parts. There is the battle at Baldanders castle, then the meeting with the ...
Buzz's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
242 views

What evidence is there that Severian encounters evidence of himself from the past?

I have read a lot of unsourced claims online claiming that, in the course of The Book of the New Sun, Severian actually encounters things that are evidence of his own existence in the past. For ...
Buzz's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
415 views

How clear is the geographical setting of the Book of the New Sun from the text?

Gene Wolfe's four-volume epic The Book of the New Sun appears to be set in a far-future version of our world's South America. This is a fact that I only noticed by using my knowledge of fauna, as some ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are all the "easter eggs" from earlier times that are recognizable to readers of Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun?

One thing I noticed after finishing The Book of the New Sun is that early in the narrative Wolfe has included several places where the reader familiar with current human culture and technology can ...
jwezorek's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the Autochthons?

In The Book of the New Sun there are many variations of humans and other life forms. There are regular humans, ape-men and Zoanthrops, and probably some other variations. However while the ...
Mark Rogers's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
975 views

If Severian has a sister, who is it?

During The Sword of the Lictor, protagonist Severian meets a little boy named Severian (see also Who is Little Severian?). Little Severian has a twin sister named Severa. This set of names seem to be ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is the "bear monster" in Annihilation film a deliberate reference to alzabo from The Book of the New Sun?

It might be coincidental, but to me the bear-like speaking creature encountered by characters in the Annihilation film adaptation seems so similar to alzabo that it's probably a deliberate reference. ...
Mithoron's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Whose body lies in the mausoleum in the Citadel?

In The Book of the New Sun, there is a mausoleum in the necropolis of Nessus by the Citadel. The young Severian often goes there to contemplate when he's in the Guild of Torturers. There is a device ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
1k views

Who is Little Severian?

In The Book of the New Sun, the protagonist meets a little boy who bears the same name as him: Severian, usually called "little Severian" in the book to disambiguate. Little Severian seems to just be ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does Severian ever lie to the reader?

Severian, the main character and narrator of The Book of the New Sun, is a notoriously unreliable narrator, according to many Gene Wolfe fans. There's no doubt that Severian often leaves out ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the meaning of the name of House Azure?

In The Shadow of the Torturer, the main character Severian goes to a brothel with his friend and fellow torturer Roche. This brothel is called "House Azure". Some strange things happen here; Severian ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
2k views

What creature did Severian wake in the mines near Saltus?

In Gene Wolfe's The Claw of the Conciliator, part two of The Book of the New Sun, the protagonist Severian is tricked into entering a network of subterranean mines (where he encounters the "man-apes", ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Gene Wolfe make up any words for The Book of the New Sun?

I've read that Gene Wolfe strove to not make up any words in The Book of the New Sun. The book uses a lot of strange words that at first glance seem made up, but are actually archaic or non-English ...
tobiasvl's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
469 views

What do the Footnotes in Gene Wolfe's 'The Urth of the New Sun' refer to?

I just finished reading Gene Wolfe's 'The Urth of the New Sun'. Several times throughout the book, I noticed at the bottom of the page what appears to be a footnote reference. It looked like this: ...
Jeremy's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the "function" of the torturer's guild in the Book of the New Sun?

I an only two thirds of the way through the first book in this four-volume series, so if the answer to my question is dealt with later, I would be grateful if answerers could specify this, and offer ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

The Shadow of the Torturer: How was Dorcas brought to life?

In Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer, chapter 23, Dorcas appears – from the previous chapter one can figure out that she had been dead and had been buried in the lake. How did she awaken? In the ...
mikalai's user avatar
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