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Fantasy Book Club – July 2012 – The Book Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe

This month we’ve got a book that is known as one of the finest pieces of fantasy literature ever written. The sad thing is, as many books as I’ve devoured, I’ve never read it! So, I hope some of you who have also neglected it or, perhaps, have it down as a classic to re-read will join us in the discussion!

We will be reading the first two volumes (which are typically bound together):

The Book of New Sun (cover)

The Masterworks Edition

Recently voted the greatest fantasy of all time, after The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun is an extraordinary epic, set a million years in the future, on an Earth transformed in mysterious and wondrous ways, in a time when our present culture is no longer even a memory. Severian, the central character, is a torturer, exiled from his guild after falling in love with one of his victims, and journeying to the distant city of Thrax, armed with his ancient executioner’s sword, Terminus Est. This edition contains the first two volumes of this four volume novel, The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator.

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Reading will commence on July 1st 2012

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Want to join in?

If you would like to join us you can visit our forums and add your name to the list here.

Book Club Rules

Rule 1: We don’t talk about Fantasy Book Club. Oh, sorry that’s a different club. You are actually welcome to invite friends and tweet this link about everywhere. We want as many readers as possible!

So…How does it really work?

Choosing a Book

What we do is take suggestions from our forum members throughout the month and then open a poll about 2 weeks before the month’s end. Then our members vote on which book they would like to read. A week before the end of the month we close the poll and users have a week to obtain the book – either borrow it, buy it, find it and pull it out from your collection, etc.

Spoiler Free Discussion

Next, we want discuss our books in a way that will not spoil the story, so we limit how much you can discuss and when.

Week 1 – You may only discuss the first 1/4 of the book
Week 2 – You may only discuss the first 1/2 of the book
Week 3 – You may only discuss the first 3/4 of the book
Week 4 – Anything goes

We are going to go based on page count. So for example, if a book has 500 pages then week one you can discuss up to page 125 and then week two 250 and so on. Each week will have a seperate thread, so as not to spoil the story for people who fall behind or come in late.

What if you want to read faster than that?

Not a problem at all. You are more than welcome to read ahead, but when discussing things just remember to post in the appropriate thread. And if you’re not sure when something happened, you can always use the spoiler tag to hide your post.

Should you not want any spoilers or discussion during the reading process, then just come after the end of week three and start discussing the book once you have finished. (This is how most book clubs operate anyway.)

This is something we are very excited about and we really hope you join in. It will certainly be a way to read some books on your reading list, find some new ones, and talk with a like minded community of fantasy fans!



  1. Avatar Jezrien says:

    I would love to join in on this but as I have read the books so many times and even read books that delve deaper into its mysteries, I don’t think I’d be able to handle non-spoiler comments. I’ll just hang back and read what people think of this epic. Maybe wait until all five books have been read and then start discussing it.

  2. […] instead I can haz moar bookz foar Uz. Today’s giveaway, inspired by Fantasy Faction’s July read is the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. This is the yellow hardcover Gollancz […]

  3. Avatar Stephen Deas says:

    …and here’s a copy I happen to be giving away, if anyone needs one,,,

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