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 created a wiki site to collect information on his works, which includes a separate page for the obscure words he often uses.
Wolfe's work is highly regarded by both critics and fellow sci-fi authors, including Ursula le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Thomas Disch and Patrick O'Leary. Wolfe is known for writing dense, literate prose often thick with religious allusions. Long-time friend Neil Gaiman's humorous homage to Wolfe, "How to Read Gene Wolfe", goes a long way to explaining his appeal as an author.
Wolfe lives in Barrington, a suburb of Chicago, with his wife Rosemary.
This article was originally published in March 2011, and has been updated for the
January 2012 paperback release.
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