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Storeys from the Old Hotel [Paperback]

Gene Wolfe
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £11.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Nov 1995
Hailed as "one of the literary giants of science fiction" by "The Denver Pos"t, Gene Wolfe is universally acknowledged as one of the most brilliant writers the field has ever produced. Winner of the World Fantasy Award for best fiction collection, "Storeys from the Old Hotel" contains thirty-one remarkable gems of Wolfe's short fiction from the past two decades, most unavailable in any other form. "Storeys from the Old Hotel "includes many of Gene Wolfe's most appealing and engaging works, from short-shorts that can be read in single setting to whimsical fantasy and even Sherlock Holmes pastiches. It is a literary feast for anyone interested in the best science fiction has to offer.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Orb Ed edition (Nov 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312890494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312890490
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,381,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gene Wolfe is the author of two dozen novels and hundreds of shorter stories. He is best known for the three multi-part series The Book of the New Sun, The Book of the Long Sun, and The Book of the Short Sun, as well as for the acclaimed duology, The Wizard Knight. Over his forty-year career, he has won the Nebula Award, the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, the British Science Fiction Award, the Locus Reader's Poll, the Rhysling (for poetry), and many others. In 1996, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Fantasy Convention, and in 2007 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. He lives in Barrington, Illinois, with his wife Rosemary.

Product Description


"A fine collection that showcases the wide range of Wolfe's weird and wonderful talent."--"Kirkus Reviews""A splendid collection of singular tales from "the finest writer the science fiction world has ever produced."--"The Washington Post""The selections are richly varied in subject, tone, and style but all of them have the author's inimitable touch."-"-San Francisco Examiner"

About the Author

Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by "The Washington Post." A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
CAPTAIN TEV NOEN TOOK OFF HIS GILDED DRESS HELMET and scratched his shaven head-not because he was puzzled by the sight of two of his best hands nailing up a placard at the mouth of Rat's Alley, but because it had occurred to him that the placards might be ineffective, and he had not yet decided what to do if they were. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars storeys from the old hotel 11 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a fantastic book, with some amazing stories. the mind of gene wolfe must be an amazingly fantastic place to be. a kaleidoscope of imagination and fantasy, brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look at what some publishers pass up! 26 Oct 1999
By Michael A. LeJeune ( - Published on
I should try to load this review down with penetrating insights into Mr. Wolfe's methods and modus, and his (to me, lofty) place in the post-modern literary world, but I get toungue (finger?) -tied and flounder and it comes off sounding lame. Suffice it to say that this short story collection is interesting in that it is comprised almost entirely of stories that were never published or published only with great difficulty. Not all, or even most, of these stories are science fiction (but then, what of Mr. Wolfe's work has ever been exclusivly SF? And who cares?) These tales form a diverse collection ranging from a various ghost stories, wide ranging fantasy pieces, a light meditation about life as seen from a train, and, as always (Mr. Wolfe's forte'), some very incisive comments on humans and why they do the weird things they do.
My own favorites are "The Sightings at the Twin Mounds," "The Death of the Island Doctor," "Redwood Coast Roamer," "A Solar Labyrinth," and "Redbeard."
If you've never read Wolfe, this is a good place to start. If you have read Wolfe and you don't have this book, then what the heck are you waiting for?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not all bad, but Wolfe has done much better 5 Oct 2009
By A. A. Chapman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gene Wolfe is famous, and rightly so, for his New Sun books and countless imaginative and thought-provoking (and sometimes head-scratching) short stories. Storeys from the Old Hotel gathers what must be the comparatively mediocre leftovers. On the whole, these feature Wolfe's most frustrating qualities: oblique story-telling, endless dialogue, and seemingly lacunose plots. On his better days, these can be worked up to levels inconceivably ingenious (Book of the New Sun, for example), but can sometimes (as with this collection) leave one wondering, "why bother?"

There are, however, some stories worth reading here: the first Liavek story is more entertaining than the usual Gene Wolfe and actually has a surprisingly effective ending. "The Marvelous Brass Chess-Playing Automaton" is another very entertaining piece, with the good kind of Wolfean twists. "Straw" may seem incomplete at first, but keep thinking about it. "Love, Among the Corridors" is a moving retelling of the Galatea story, with role-reversal and addition. "From the Desk of Gilmer C. Merton" is hilarious metafiction. "Death of the Island Doctor" has a special, old-school-graduate-student charm. Finally, "Redwood Coast Roamer" is a set of flash-fiction stories quickly sketched on a long train ride, but they're surprisingly good at every turn.

Completists will want this one, if only for the diamonds in the rough. For others, I would suggest Endangered Species or The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 4 Aug 2002
By Caterwaul - Published on
The very title is a gentle pun: "storeys" rather than "stories", and it opens the door to another of Gene Wolfe's just slightly cockeyed universes. I usually read Wolfe's books with an unabridged dictionary nearby, and I am never annoyed at interrupting my reading in order to refer to it. As with all his books, reading him is a slow process, and yet that only makes me feel that I am getting more for my money.
His characters are real. While they are all characters in the other sense of the word, none seems unbelievable.
Read this book. And read "Free Live Free."
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Initiated into the Wolfepack 16 April 2013
By Harcohen - Published on
This was perhaps the first Wolfe collection I'd read eons ago when it was still in hardcover. Storeys is a great introduction for those uninitiated into the Wolfepack. The man can literally write anything. He is one of the most talented, literary, and funny writers in any genre. But he bases his home in science fiction for a reason: no other genre allows as much flexibility. And boy does Wolfe flex his muscle in this collection. There is no typical Gene Wolfe story just as there is not typical Gene Wolfe novel, but one thing you can always count on is quality. He is a true craftsman. He never takes the easy way out, and always gives you more than you were expecting. He is a priceless, timeless talent. A true artist. Read the stories in Storeys and see why Gene Wolfe is the most highly praised author of speculative fiction in the world.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book for completists... 10 July 2001
By Dan'l Danehy-Oakes - Published on
This isn't a bad collection, but it isn't a great collection -- which means that, for Gene Wolfe, it's a lesser book. Shorter stories than is typical of Wolfe's other collections, well written but mostly lacking the punch of the stories in "The Island of Dr. Death" or "Strange Travellers." Entertaining, occasionally brilliant, very quirky, even funny in places: essential Wolfe for those to whom Wolfe is essential.
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