Gene Wolfe takes us to a future North America at once familiar and utterly strange. A young man and woman, Skip and Chelle, fall in love in college and marry, but she is enlisted in the military, there is a war on, and she must serve her tour of duty before they can settle down. But the military is fighting a war with aliens in distant solar systems, and her months in the service will be years in relative time on Earth. Chelle returns to recuperate from severe injuries, after months of service, still a young woman but not necessarily the same person - while Skip is in his forties and a wealthy businessman, but eager for her return.
Still in love (somewhat to his surprise and delight), they go on a Caribbean cruise to resume their marriage. Their vacation rapidly becomes a complex series of challenges, not the least of which are spies, aliens, and battles with pirates who capture the ship for ransom. There is no writer in SF like Gene Wolfe and no SF novel like Home Fires.
As with most good speculative fiction, this imagined future is used to explore current ideas. In Home Fires, Wolfe explores two big questions: What is love and what is death? ...This strange, surprising book is clearly written by a master. Although definitely not a book for everyone, I think Home Fires is great fun, and well worth the work involved on the reader's part. (Reviewed by Beverly Melven).
Red herrings and unknown, mistaken, or confused identities saturate the novel, making this well suited for readers, especially mystery readers, who don't often read science fiction.
Part cyber-thriller, part love story, part sf adventure, Wolfe's latest novel should appeal to his many fans as well as to general readers.
[Readers] will be pleased by this latest display of all the gifts of one of sf's authentic all-time masters, including original and balanced characterization, masterly world building, and an ethical sensibility of the highest degree.
Starred Review. A somber, almost brooding tone permeates this compelling work from one of the genre's grandmasters.
Critically acclaimed author Gene Wolfe writes in the genres broadly described as sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction. He is prolific, writing novels, poetry, novellas and short stories. His awards include two Nebulas, three Locus awards, a British Science Fiction Association award, a Lifetime Achievement award from the World Fantasy Association, and induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007.
Born in New York state in 1931, he served in the Korean War between 1952-54, later graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in Medical Engineering. After that he spent about 15 years as an engineer at Procter & Gamble (among other projects, developing the machine that cooks Pringles) before leaving to edit an engineering journal.
He published his first novel in 1970, and has been writing full-time since 1984. He is best known for The Book of the New Sun series, set on a future, dystopian "Urth." Fans have...
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