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Innocents Aboard: New Fantasy Stories (2004)

av Gene Wolfe

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
277475,681 (3.81)Ingen/inga
Gene Wolfe may be the single best writer in fantasy and SF of his generation. FromThe Book of the Long SuntoThe Book of the New Sun series, to his impressive short fiction oeuvre. Innocents Aboard gathers fantasy and horror stories from the last decade that have never before been in a Wolfe collection. Highlights from the twenty-two stories include "The Tree is my Hat," adventure and horror in the South Seas, "The Night Chough," a Long Sun story, "The Walking Sticks," a darkly humorous tale of a supernatural inheritance, and "Houston, 1943," lurid adventures in a dream that has no end. This is fantastic fiction at its best.… (mer)
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Visar 4 av 4
Innocents Aboard is the first short story collection by Wolfe I've read. It is a diverse helping of mind-altering tales. Ranging from Melville satire to Egyptian myth and Chinese folktale, a plethora of ghost stories and atypical Arthurian fantasy, with a few Biblical allegories thrown in. Story after story, I was constantly surprised, and typically scribbling with a pencil in the margins. The intrigue is all-consuming and the mystique is alive and well.

If you are familiar with his novels you might recognize some settings, but these 22 stories, as far as I can tell, manage to stand on their own. At the heart of each is a deep mystery, and though we are given many hints, we are often left with a partial picture of events. Only Wolfe could turn a tale about a person who steals underwear into cosmic horror. There are also moments of magical realism and adventure to be found. In short, I never knew what to expect.

Constellation origin stories, paganism, cannibalism, astral projection, time travel, bullying, witches, talking animals - you name it, Gene Wolfe has probably used it in one of his stories. But these strange occurrences are never the central focus of the storytelling. Wolfe decides instead to pursue character studies and wold-building through shifts in tone and perspective which are both jarring and revealing. They lend themselves well to re-reading and multiple interpretations in the author's typical fashion.

If you read them for surface level stories alone, you'd be missing half the content. Nearly all of them operate with something like an undertext and overtext. The subtext is just as important as the Ur-text. That is to say, the travails of the protagonist are often all symbolic in nature. While entertaining, it is occasionally hard to describe why they do what they do unless greater forces beyond their control are subtly at work.

I'm no Wolfe expert (is anyone?) but I am quickly becoming a raving enthusiast.
( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
Is there a genre called fantasy/horror? If not, it should be invented just for "Innocents Aboard." This book is like that nightmare we all have about falling. The stories start off with innocent, even mundane narrative and then suddenly the floor drops away. For example, 'The Monday Man' starts off with a cop and a lawyer having a drink and talking about hunting and fishing. The cop tells about his encounter with a Monday Man, a guy who steals laundry from clotheslines when it was hung out to dry on Mondays. But what begins as a foot chase in a working class neighborhood takes a sharp turn into the twilight zone. Another feature is that Wolfe never tells the whole story. He always leaves enough blanks and question marks that you want to know more. These are the type of stories that make me want to check the closets and leave the light on before turning in for the night. ( )
  Course8 | Nov 20, 2010 |
The subtitle is "new fantasy stories". When most people hear fantasy, they imagine dwarves, dragons, wizards and quests. That's epic fantasy, as it is sometimes called. Wolfe's fantasy, at least in this book, is different. It is more like magical realism, vaguely supernatural horror, or fairy tales. Of these, it is mostly the the last category that appeals to me. This preference is expressed in my ratings below. As always, I am in awe of Wolfe's imagination, style and prose. Hit is +, miss is -:

- The Tree Is My Hat (1999)
+ The Old Woman Whose Rolling Pin Is the Sun (1991)
- The Friendship Light (1989)
- Slow Children at Play (1989)
+ Under Hill (2002)
- The Monday Man (1990)
- The Waif (2001)
+ The Legend of Xi Cygnus (1992)
+ The Sailor Who Sailed After the Sun (1992)
- How the Bishop Sailed to Inniskeen (1989)
- Houston, 1943 (1988)
- A Fish Story (1999)
+ Wolfer (1997)
+ The Eleventh City (2000)
+ The Night Chough (1998)
- The Wrapper (1998)
+ A Traveler in Desert Lands (1999)
- The Walking Sticks (1999)
+ Queen (2001)
- Pocketsful of Diamonds (2000)
- Copperhead (2001)
+ The Lost Pilgrim (2003) ( )
  igor.kh | May 7, 2008 |
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Gene Wolfe may be the single best writer in fantasy and SF of his generation. FromThe Book of the Long SuntoThe Book of the New Sun series, to his impressive short fiction oeuvre. Innocents Aboard gathers fantasy and horror stories from the last decade that have never before been in a Wolfe collection. Highlights from the twenty-two stories include "The Tree is my Hat," adventure and horror in the South Seas, "The Night Chough," a Long Sun story, "The Walking Sticks," a darkly humorous tale of a supernatural inheritance, and "Houston, 1943," lurid adventures in a dream that has no end. This is fantastic fiction at its best.

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