Gene Wolfe has died. This annoys me, though.
Wolfe went on to write over 30 novels, with his best best-known work, The Book of The New Sun, spanning 1980-1983. The series is a tetralogy set in the Vancian Dying Earth subgenre, and follows the journey of Severian, a member of the Guild of Torturers, after he is exiled for the sin of mercy. Over the course of the series the books won British Science Fiction, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Locus, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial Awards. In 1998 poll, the readers of Locus magazine considered the series as a single entry and ranked it third in a poll of fantasy novels published before 1990, following only The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Every few years, I pick up and reread The Book of The New Sun, because it is amazingly well-written, subtle, clever, and deep. Wolfe was a phenomenal writer, while Tolkien was a plodder who tapped into a well of mythology and told fairy tales. It is a tragic injustice that Wolfe was ranked third after that guy.
Also, if you thought Lord of the Rings was going to be tough to turn into a movie, Severian’s story is even more impossible, so Wolfe isn’t going to get a post-mortem surge in popularity after translation to a new medium. No one is cosplaying his characters. I wouldn’t say there’s no slash fiction about them, Rule 34 and all that, but moral ambiguity and unreliable narrators aren’t easily dragged into simplistic storytelling.