Gene Wolfe, Titan, Passes At 87


In Memoriam

April 15, 2019, Gene Wolfe, a titan of the science-fiction and fantasy genre, passed. Today, we remember the works and story that survive him. While we collect inspiration for generations to come.

Wolfe was born in New York City on May 7, 1931. He attended Texas A&M. His first published piece of fiction appeared in a student literary journal, The Commentator.

He married in 1952, upon returning home from the Korean War. His wife, Rosemary, died in December 2013. The couple is survived by their children: Madeleine Fellers, Teri Goulding, Matthew Wolfe, and the couple’s three grand-daughters.

Literary Legacy

Gene Wolfe Photograph by Matheiu Bourgois/AP

Gene Wolfe’s works also survive him. Acclaimed works, such as The Book of the New Sun; which, in 1990, surpassed all but J.R.R. Tolkien in a Locus magazine poll. Most recently, in 2012, he earned the honorific of Grand Master by The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. 

Between those two landmark events, Gene Wolfe received a number of other awards and recognition. In 1996, he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement at the World Fantasy Convention. Then, in 2007, the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him into their ranks. And during the Nebula Awards Weekend in May 2013, he won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. In the span of Gene Wolfe’s 45 year career, these are only some of the major moments.

In his works, Gene Wolfe wrote robust, allegorical works. Fictions that challenged readers with puzzling pictures of our could-be future. Some titles include: “The Fifth Head of Cereberus” (1972); The Urth of the New Sun (1987); Soldier of the Mist (1986); and Home Fires (2011).

Ursula K. Le Guin called him the “Melville” of our time. How are you remembering his prolific life today?

A Titan’s Passing

Gene Wolfe inspired and mentored many of the newest generation of sci-fi and fantasy authors: including Neil Gaiman. They took to Twitter to lament the Titan’s passing.

Word of the Nerd would like to extend our condolences and thoughts to family, friends, and fans of Gene Wolfe.


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About the author

Jessa Searles

is a novice blogger, avid reader, and, now, a professional television viewer. She has written for years for her own enjoyment, and began blogging when she studied abroad in Wales. A third generation nerd, she's followed her father's path down the force but is a Trekkie, a bit removed, on her mother's side. Some of her first passions were Tolkien and Nancy Drew, but as she discovered television, addiction has set in. Now, she watches just about everything, and is here to keep you up to date on whatever TV news you want to know! She attempts to maintain a personal blog at, and a creative writing blog at Feel free to check 'em out and let her know what you think.

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