In Green's Jungles (Book of the Short Sun Series #2)

by Gene Wolfe

Published: May 2001
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Pages: 384
Paperback
ISBN: 9780312873639

       

Overview of In Green's Jungles (Book of the Short Sun Series #2)

Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the second volume, after On Blue's Waters, of his ambitious SF trilogy, The Book of the Short Sun. It is again narrated by Horn, who has embarked on a quest from his home on the planet Blue in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itself complex, shifting from place to place, present to past. Horn recalls visiting the Whorl, the enormous spacecraft in orbit that brought the settlers from Urth, and going thence to the planet Green, home of the blood-drinking alien inhumi. There, he led a band of mercenary soldiers, answered to the name of Rajan, and later became the ruler of a city state. He has also encountered the mysterious aliens, the Neighbors, who once inhabited both Blue and Green. He remembers a visit to Nessus, on Urth. At some point, he died. His personality now seemingly inhabits a different body, so that even his sons do not recognize him. And people mistake him for Silk, to whom he now bears a remarkable resemblance. In Green's Jungles is Wolfe's major new fiction, The Book of the Short Sun, building toward a strange and seductive climax.

Synopsis of In Green's Jungles (Book of the Short Sun Series #2)

Gene Wolfe's In Green's Jungles is the sequel to On Blue's Waters. It is again narrated by Horn, on a quest from his home on the planet Blue to find theheroic leader Patera Silk. Now Horn's identity has become ambiguous, a complex question embedded in the story, whose telling is itself complex, shifting from place to place, present to past. Horn recalls visiting the Whorl, the enormous spacecraft that brought the settlers from Urth, and going thence to the planet Green, home of the blood-drinking alien inhumi. He remembers a visit to Nessus, on Urth. And people mistake him for Silk, to whom he now bears a remarkable resemblance. In Green's Jungles is a section of Wolfe's major new fiction, The Book of the Short Sun, building through this voluem toward a strange and seductive climax in Return to the Whorl.

Publishers Weekly

In 1980, Wolfe published The Shadow of the Torturer, the first volume in his now classic Book of the New Sun, which was eventually followed by his much-praised Book of the Long Sun sequence. Whereas the former series was set on the decadent planet Urth, the latter took place within the Whorl, a hollowed-out asteroid whose inhabitants knew nothing of the universe outside their failing world. At the end of the second series, the charismatic Cald Silk led his people to the planets called Green and Blue and then disappeared. For years it had been rumored that the two novel sequences were somehow connected--and here the rumor is substantiated. In this second volume in The Book of the Short Sun (after On Blue's Waters), Horn, the narrator of the Long Sun books, is on a quest for the lost Silk. Although he engages in numerous adventures--leading an army, slogging through a monster-inhabited jungle, touring several exotic societies--the specifics of the plot are almost inconsequential. What counts is Wolfe's gorgeous prose, the brilliant dialogue and the dazzling way that reality shifts from one paragraph to the next. Horn soon discovers that he has the seemingly magical power to travel instantaneously between Green and Blue, though his body and those of his compatriots undergo strange changes with each shift. Eventually, they visit a world with a dying red sun that may be long-lost Urth. Oddly, Horn also discovers that he has begun to physically resemble Silk. Like any middle volume in a series, this novel leaves mysteries unsolved and plot threads hanging, but that really doesn't matter. It's the sheer strangeness of this masterful tale that counts, and the glorious sense of unknown wonders to come. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

About the Author, Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by The Washington Post. A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

In 1980, Wolfe published The Shadow of the Torturer, the first volume in his now classic Book of the New Sun, which was eventually followed by his much-praised Book of the Long Sun sequence. Whereas the former series was set on the decadent planet Urth, the latter took place within the Whorl, a hollowed-out asteroid whose inhabitants knew nothing of the universe outside their failing world. At the end of the second series, the charismatic Cald Silk led his people to the planets called Green and Blue and then disappeared. For years it had been rumored that the two novel sequences were somehow connected--and here the rumor is substantiated. In this second volume in The Book of the Short Sun (after On Blue's Waters), Horn, the narrator of the Long Sun books, is on a quest for the lost Silk. Although he engages in numerous adventures--leading an army, slogging through a monster-inhabited jungle, touring several exotic societies--the specifics of the plot are almost inconsequential. What counts is Wolfe's gorgeous prose, the brilliant dialogue and the dazzling way that reality shifts from one paragraph to the next. Horn soon discovers that he has the seemingly magical power to travel instantaneously between Green and Blue, though his body and those of his compatriots undergo strange changes with each shift. Eventually, they visit a world with a dying red sun that may be long-lost Urth. Oddly, Horn also discovers that he has begun to physically resemble Silk. Like any middle volume in a series, this novel leaves mysteries unsolved and plot threads hanging, but that really doesn't matter. It's the sheer strangeness of this masterful tale that counts, and the glorious sense of unknown wonders to come. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

VOYA

Wolfe continues his stunning masterpiece with this second volume of his projected trilogy of The Book of the Short Sun. In volume one, On Blue's Waters (Tor, 1999/VOYA June 2000), Horn left his home at the behest of fellow travelers to go in search of Patera Silk, protagonist of Wolfe's first two series, The Book of the New Sun and The Book of the Long Sun. The plan was for him to cross Blue's waters, find a lander that still worked, and head for Green. Horn's adventures and his quest continue in this volume. He is narrating again—more battles, more time spent as an esteemed advisor, more exposure to the blood-sucking inhumani, who survive on human blood but surprisingly can befriend humans as well. There is also the small matter of Horn and party succumbing to the deadly life forms found in Green's jungles. Yet Horn is transported back across the void afterwards, hale and hearty, but in a different body. His quest is further complicated by the presence of Oreb, Patera Silk's bird, and by the fact that he is beginning to look increasingly like Silk himself. This complex, challenging work of science fiction is an example of intricate world-building on a grand scale. Comprehension depends on the previous volume and perhaps the previous series as well, but fans are going to be delighted at the opportunity to explore both Blue and Green with this talented, charismatic guide. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Tor, 384p. Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Bonnie Kunzel VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)

Library Journal

Horn s search for the legendary hero Patera Silk has taken him from the world called Blue to the humid jungles of Green, a neighboring planet populated by inhuman blood drinkers and their human slaves. As he tries to make sense of his wanderings, Horn s memories and dreams blend with the present in an elusive and intriguing chronicle of an ordinary man forced into extraordinary circumstances. The sequel to On Blue s Waters (LJ 10/15/99), the latest in an epic cycle that evolves from the four-volume Book of the Long Sun, displays Wolfe s signature style literate, complex, and multilayered. Best read in the context of previous books in the series, this exploration of the nature of identity and reality belongs in libraries that own the preceding series titles. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Washington Post Book World

By any standard, Wolfe's beautifully composed, meditative, thrilling, and tricky-beyond belief 'science fantasy' is a work of the highest art.

Tom Easton

Subtle and tricky and enormously readable. An ornament in the crown of science fiction. And never, never, never to be passed up. Get thee to a bookstore.
Analog

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