- Hardcover: 381 pages
- Publisher: St Martin's Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Oct. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312866143
- ISBN-13: 978-0312866143
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3.2 x 21.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,162,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
On Blue's Waters (Book of the Short Sun) Hardcover – 1 Oct 1999
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Horn and his family have built a new life for themselves on the planet Blue, but he must now undertake a perilous mission to the Whorl, a giant interstellar space ship, to search for the legendary Patera Silk.
About the Author
Gene Wolfe is perhaps the most repected literary writer of SF in the world today. He lives in Barrington, Illinois.
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Horn is the disciple and the unreliable, but compelling narrator and protagonist of what are two separate stories, which are interwoven masterfully by Wolfe, who at the same time "pretends" to the reader that this is all just a stream of consciousness from Horn.
As well as two stories, we also get a continuous commentary on the difficulty of writing and of conveying any meaning in what is at best a subjective art - Horn is never sure who he is writing for or why, but he is compelled to continue and in the same way the reader becomes compelled to follow and whle we always know what the future ulimately holds, we still want to know how Horn gets there, what strange adventures he has on the way and more about the other characters.
Are the "inhuma" really evil, is the siren, human or part of another race, who is the "Mother" - can she really be a god or just an inexplicable relic of another alien species?
And most of all we want to know more about "Green", whose shadow, both literally and metaphorically hangs over the narrative and demands that we read the next in this series : "In Green's Jungles".
I defy anybody who reads this book not to buy the next installment!! I know I won't be able to resist.
There is no problem with pace with "Short Sun", from the moment I started it I was hooked. I won't go into detail because the other reviewers have summed it up splendidly. I just had to add my five stars. Brilliant.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Horn, the narrator of the earlier work, now tells his own story in a simple clear prose that is straightforward yet filled with twists at every turn. The narration is a mixture of journal entries looking at past events, the present and dovetailing along the future with references to the book In Green's Jungles. Life is hard on the newly settled planet of Blue with very little or no technology. Horn and his family have made a decent life for themselves and he is regarded by all as a good character of man. Whilst the city states of Blue grow, there is a burgeoning need to establish civil rule. Horn is the only one who can locate the once great leader Patera Silk, and convince him to return to Blue and lead them all to prosperity. Horn sets sail in a small boat (reminiscent of the Odyssey), on a long and difficult quest across the planet Blue in search of the now legendary Patera Silk (reported to be maybe on the elusive island of Pajarocu or the planet Green). Along the way, our hero meets some fantastic characters each of whom can have a novel unto themselves. One of them is Seawrack, a beautiful sea siren and Babbie an intelligent 7 legged boar-like creature. Then there is the enigmatic inhumu. A highly intelligent alien race of space vampires (who are shape shifters), just to name a few.
The book can stand on it's own but I highly recommend reading the Books of the Long Sun first to know who and what Patera Silk was all about. The pathos, irony, the plot and prose are all well done and Horn's tale of adventure and struggle, will be with you for a long time. These works will be celebrated for years to come as exemplary 21st Century literature. Blue aptly makes-up for any shortcomings in Epiphany of the Long Sun (the end was little confusing but this book clears up a lot of that). As with Mr. Wolfe's stories, the end continues to ask more questions. So, the only drawback to this work is you'll want to start reading the next book, In Green's Jungles. Thank you Mr. Wolfe!