In a future North America at once familiar and utterly strange, a young man and woman, Skip and Chelle, fall in love and marry. But Chelle is enlisted in the military, there is a war on, and she must serve her tour of duty before they can settle down. Earth is fighting a war with aliens in distant star systems, and Chelle's months in the service will be years in relative time on Earth. She returns to recuperate from severe injuries, still a young woman but not necessarily the same person—while Skip is now a wealthy businessman in his forties. Still in love, they go on a Caribbean cruise that rapidly goes awry with spies, aliens, and battles with pirates who capture the ship for ransom. There is no writer in SF like Gene Wolfe and no SF novel like Home Fires.
“Gene Wolfe remains a hero to me. He's just turned eighty…and is still writing deep, complex, brilliant fiction that slips between genres…. He's the finest living male American writer of SF and fantasy—possibly the finest living American writer.” —Neil Gaiman
“With complications involving spies, murderers, cyborgs and pirates…compelling work from one of the genre's grandmasters.” —Kirkus Review (starred review)
“The purest SF novel from Wolfe in something like a decade…. Amazingly, Wolfe’s approach to SF themes that we thought we knew all about is as innovative and elegant as ever.” —Locus
"[Readers] will be pleased by this latest display of all of the gifts of one of SF’s authentic all-time masters, including original and balanced characterization, masterly world-building, and an ethical sensibility of the highest degree.” —Booklist
“Wolfe still has a few surprises up his sleeve, and Home Fires is one of them… The book is fast-paced and quite accessible, and shows that Gene Wolfe is as much at home writing adventure as he is writing epics.” —Analog
“The action is interspersed with Skip's reflections...and it's all rendered in a voice that might remind you of a more poignant Robert Heinlein from an alternate dimension. On one level, it's an adventure story and a romance—but this is Gene Wolfe, so expect it to set off some subtle but serious perturbations in your brain and soul, too.” —i09.com