(urth) SINGLE Gene Wolfe literature universe?

Milton Jackson miltonwjackson at gmail.com
Mon May 10 19:49:32 PDT 2010

Well, what of that? Robert Howard tangentially linked his Kull, Bran Mak
Morn, and Conan series and by extension much of his other work, but each was
an independent series reflecting in a different way the author's ideas. In a
similar fashion, Edgar Rice Burroughs tangentially linked his Barsoom,
Amtor, Tarzan, Caspak, Moon Maid, and Pellucidar series. Having multiple
series set in the same universe at different times that explore the author's
ideas in different ways is not something that makes the author's work
cliched. If the Book of the New Sun is set in the same universe as The
Sorcerer's House or An Evil Guest or Pirate's Freedom or even Shields of
Mars, the stories themselves have nothing in common except maybe a common
universe. That detracts nothing form Wolfe's vision as an author or his
originality in the conception of his literary worlds.

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:40 PM, Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> wrote:

> On 5/10/2010 4:31 PM, Milton Jackson wrote:
>> I don't see how it's unoriginal for Wolfe to set his works in the same
>> universe if indeed that's what he did. It's not as if he's copying other
>> writers if the Book of the New Sun and Soldier of the Mist, Soldier of
>> Arete, and Soldier of Sidon all take place in the same universe at
>> different times.
> It has become increasingly common for big name SF authors to link together
> their various works as if they were intended to form a grand design from the
> beginning, lack of continuity or thematic unity be damned.
> Even Heinlein, who really did have a grand design in mind fairly early in
> his career, went on to hook up stories unrelated to his Future History
> timeline in his later works, which were generally considered digressive and
> inferior to his previous actioners. Asimov's later Foundation sequels
> branched out to explicitly touch his Robot series and some former
> stand-alone novels, and the unruly vinculum kept growing posthumously, even.
> GW certainly has thematic unity enough, but what's the point of hooking it
> all together? It's not like the stories aren't deep enough as it is.
> --
> Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
> IEEE Student Chapter Blog at
> < http://ieeetamut.org >
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