A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Gene Wolfe's Return to the Whorl is the third volume, after On Blue's Waters and In Green's Jungles, of his ambitious SF trilogy entitled The Book of the Short Sun.
Once again our narrator is Horn, who has embarked on a quest in search of the heroic leader Patera Silk. Horn has traveled from his home on the planet Blue, reached the mysterious planet Green, and visited the great starship, the Whorl. He has even, somehow, made it to the distant planet called Urth. But Horn's identity has become ambiguous—a complex question embedded in the story, the telling of which is itself complex, shifting from place to place, from present to past. Perhaps Horn and Silk are now one being. Return to the Whorl brings Wolfe's major trilogy to a strange and seductive climax.
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Return to the Whorl
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1THE BLOODSTAINED MENWe have been journeying by guess, and it is high time we admitted it. Thus I admit it here. All things considered, we have been fortunate; but unless we are favored by the Vanished Gods of Blue far above most, it cannot continue.In this third book, which will surely be the last, I will begin by saying that, and telling you who we are; but first I should mention that the bandits are all dead, and that I, rummaging through their loot, have discovered this paper--an entire bale--and am making haste to use it.
His thoughts seemed to have