(urth) Pirate Freedom

Nicholas Gevers vermoulian at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 28 13:10:12 PDT 2007

Interesting! There is a case for seeing *Pirate
Freedom* as SF, actually--Chris's story begins in Cuba
some years from now, the Communists having fallen, and
he remarks somewhere on his father having "had him
built" a certain way (genetically, I assume),
explaining his height and who knows what other
abilities, including perhaps time travel? 

--Nick Gevers.

> "As a boy," Gene Wolfe has written, "I was very fond
> of pirates," and
> his latest offering seems written expressly for that
> boy. In fact, the
> intended audience for this one seems even more YA
> than _Wizard Knight_
> though it's not being marketed as a juvenile, but as
> fantasy. _Pirate
> Freedom_, however, has *no* fantasy elements unless
> you wish to count
> Father Chris's temporal displacement (curiously
> unexamined by the
> narrator), nor is there much in the way of
> metaphysical or spiritual
> dithering, considering Chris-the-pirate has taken
> Holy Orders. Instead,
> we're treated to a very straight forward historical
> adventure with many
> asides about the true nature of piracy (as opposed,
> say, to pop
> versions) and the narrative voice will probably
> remind you of Wizard's
> Able. Wolfe seems to have lots of fun with his
> dramatis personae,
> incorporating not only two characters from New Sun,
> but also naming a
> pirate after one of his fellow writers. But far and
> away, _Pirate
> Freedom_ is Wolfe's least challenging and unoblique
> novel, with
> virtually no unsolved mysteries or (for me)
> lingering resonance. As
> such, I took it to be the literary equivalent of a
> sorbet -- something
> to cleanse the pallet in preparation for more
> substantial fare to come
> (though I'm not encouraged by the early word on his
> next two novels).
> -- 
>   Rex Lycanthrosaurus
>   lycanthrosaurus at fastmail.fm

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