The Book of the New Sun  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Book of the New Sun is a novel in four parts written (1980–83) by science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe. It chronicles the journey and ascent to power of Severian, a disgraced journeyman torturer who rises to the position of Autarch, the one ruler of the free world. Severian, who claims that he has perfect memory, tells the story in first person; the books are presented by Wolfe as a translation of Severian's writings into contemporary English. The series takes place in the distant future, where the Sun has dimmed considerably and the Earth (referred to in the series as "Urth") is slowly cooling.

The four volumes in the series are:

A coda, The Urth of the New Sun (nominated for the 1988 Hugo Award and Nebula Award), which takes place several years after the events of The Book of the New Sun, was added later. Wolfe has since written two series that exist loosely within Severian's universe, The Book of the Long Sun (a four-book series set on a generation ship; two of the books were nominated for Nebula Awards) and The Book of the Short Sun (a three-book series following the inhabitants of the generation ship after their long journey has finally finished).

Place within the genre

The New Sun series belongs to the Dying Earth subgenre (a title inspired by Jack Vance's popular Dying Earth series), a kind of science fiction/fantasy set in a distant future when the Sun is dying, set against a background of mysterious and obscure powers and events.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Book of the New Sun" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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