Return to the Whorl The Final Volume of 'The Book of the Short Sun'

Book of the Short Sun

Gene Wolfe

Tor Books



Trade Paperback

416 Pages



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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.


Praise for Return to the Whorl

"Astonishing literary brilliance."Interzone

"Sentence by sentence, Wolfe is as fine a writer as science fiction has produced. He demands a lot from his readers. It is worth meeting him more than halfway."—The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads



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Return to the Whorl
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
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  • Gene Wolfe

  • Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by The Washington Post. A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing.
  • Gene Wolfe