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Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 23:16:34 -0400
From: "Kevin J. Maroney" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Wash Post article

At 12:41 AM 4/11/02, Nick wrote:
>5HC is
>perforce the best one-volume introduction to Wolfe's
>SF oeuvre.

I agree with this, and have been using it as such for the last 15 years. It 
is neither Wolfe's best nor worst, nor his "most typical" (is there such a 
thing for Wolfe?), but if someone reads and enjoys _Fifth Head_, that 
person is likely to enjoy other Wolfe, and if not, they are unlikely to 
enjoy other Wolfe much more. When _Fifth Head_ was out of print, I made it 
a point to buy Ace copies whenever I saw them, to pass on to people who 
hadn't jumped into Wolfe yet.

>BUT: in the context of the
>whole Urth/Whorl series, there is too much resonance
>with 5HC to be ignored.

Numbering _Fifth Head_ as part of "the Briah cycle", as you did in your 
article, is misleading and, frankly, wrong. There is no plot, character, or 
setting connection between _Fifth Head_ and the various _Sun_ novels, and 
calling it such sets up expectations in a new reader which I feel will not 
be met. Does it resonate with the other novels? Yes, but so does "Seven 
American Nights"; that doesn't make "Seven American Nights" part of "the 
Briah cycle".

Kevin J.  Maroney | kjm@panix.com | Games are my entire waking life


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