SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Nightside Of The Long Sun

Copyright 1993 by Gene Wolfe

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this on the 27th June 2003.

In the world of the Whorl, civilisation has dropped back from where it was several hundred years before. Little of the old advanced technology remains functional. Even in his temple, the gods no longer appear in the Sacred Window, no longer speak to their followers.

Patera Silk runs the temple on Sun Street. He is an honest cleric who genuinely believes in his gods and who tries very hard to be the good shepherd to his varied parish. His life changes dramatically when he receives enlightenment from a largely unknown god. In the middle of a ballgame time freezes for him, he sees the vast expanse of reality spread out before him and sees what he must do.

When Blood, the local gangster, seizes the temple buildings, Silk bravely determines that he will rescue them. In attempting to do so he will discover a lot more about the rougher and tougher real world than he might have wished to know. He'll also find himself capable of much greater efforts and achievements than he would have thought possible. Perhaps he'll even save his church and find his lost gods.

This novel is a fantasy set in an intriguing medieval world in which some remnants of advanced technology survive. I was expecting (and I have no idea why) a boring, meandering tale. Instead we have a charming story, full of mystery and surprise, peopled with complex and three-dimensional characters - look at Auk, Blood, Musk, Hyacinth, Horn, Mucor, Dr. Crane and the cyborg Mayteras Mint, Rose and Marble.

Is Gene Wolfe good or what!

Loaded on the 1st July 2003.
Cover of Nightside Of The Long Sun
Cover art by Richard Bober

Reviews of other works with covers by Richard Bober:
The Fifth Head Of Cerberus