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.
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.
I wrote this about Gene Wolfe for the Guardian, a few years ago. I was going to see him in Peoria on Wednesday, and now I never will. https://t.co/oUaxeZoou5
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) April 15, 2019
Little-known Gene Wolfe fact: he was also partly to thank for the invention of Pringles https://t.co/ZpPMLlQaat
— Ryan Baumann (@ryanfb) April 15, 2019
Loved Gene Wolfe since reading “The Island of Dr. Death.” He signed my first edition SHADOW OF THE TORTURER. If anyone’s books will end up in the Archive of the Torturer’s Citadel, his will. A thousand ages in thy sight… #RIPGeneWolfe https://t.co/rrosJ3e0f2
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 15, 2019
Word of the Nerd would like to extend our condolences and thoughts to family, friends, and fans of Gene Wolfe.