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 Post subject: The Urth books - how do they tie together?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Lady Scryer
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I have thinking about reading all of the Urth/Sun series (serieses?) for quite some time now. However, I am more than a little intimidated, as I have heard that they can be difficult reads.

From what I understand, there are three main series:
*The five books about Severian that begin with Shadow of the Torturer
* four books of the Long Sun
* three books of the Short Sun

How do these three series tie together? Are they set in the same universe but in different eras of time? Are they closer in time to each with overlapping people and/or places?

Is there a particular order they should be read in?

Do all of these books need to be read back to back to back making up one long plot sequence, or can you take nice breaks in between the different series if Wolfe becomes overwhelming? ******************************************************

Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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 Post subject: Re: The Urth books - how do they tie together?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:15 am 
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Master Pilot
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They all take place in the same universe (Briah). I'm not certain how close New Sun and Long Sun are chronologically (though Short Sun takes place thousands of years after the tyrant Typhon who is in the New Sun historically and... well, there's a lot of time travel in New Sun, so it gets complicated). Short Sun takes place about a generation after Long Sun.

I'd recommend reading them in the order of New, Long, and Short, though Long, Short, and then New would be ok, too. The complicated part is Short Sun. IIRC, it would be easier to read the first, then the third, and then the second. *shrug* ________________
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and cleansing I've endured within my shadow. Change is coming. Now is my time. Listen to my muscle memory. Contemplate what I've been clinging to. -Tool, "Forty-Six & Two" <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: The Urth books - how do they tie together?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:36 am 
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Lady Scryer
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So are we talking three completely separate plot arcs then, rather than one long sequential one? Or three semi-separate ones that bleed into each other in weird subliminal Wolfeian ways? ******************************************************

Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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 Post subject: Re: The Urth books - how do they tie together?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:40 pm 
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Well, each one stands alone, especially BotNS, but Long and Short is kind of like the First and Second Chrons (not to mention, I think Short Sun would've just about fried my brain if I hadn't read Long first).

Ok, some very mild spoilers to kind of explain it.







***spoiler***

In BotNS, Severian encounters the tyrant Typhon. I won't say how, since Typhon was alive millenia before Severian was born. In Typhon's time, much of the ancient technology that's no longer of much use or much understood in Severian's is still around. Typhon apparently understood the situation Urth would be facing in a few thousand years with the sun dying out. So he sends a giant craft into space to find another planet to colonize.

Long Sun takes place on this craft thousands of years after Typhon. Its inhabitants don't really know who Typhon is/was. Much like Urth, it's falling apart and people don't really understand the technology.

Short Sun takes place on the planet that the craft is supposed to colonize (actually, there are two planets, Blue and Green). There are a few references/connections to New Sun here, but it would be impossible to explain. Wolfe also published one or two short stories with similar connections.













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I wanna feel the metamorphosis and cleansing I've endured within my shadow. Change is coming. Now is my time. Listen to my muscle memory. Contemplate what I've been clinging to. -Tool, "Forty-Six & Two" <i></i>


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 Post subject: Re: The Urth books - how do they tie together?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:01 am 
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Lady Scryer
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Oh, that is a great summary, Syl.

It sounds like there would be no trouble for me to read one series, then take a break if I am overwhelmed. And I am likely to be.

I am more of a literal girl, and Wolfe loads his stuff with so much that has to be precessed subconciously...I always need a break to mentally digest anything by him that I read. ******************************************************

Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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