SF Gateway Editors’ Choice: The Shadow of the Torturer


The SF Gateway Editors’ Choice this week is The Shadow of the Torturer, the first volume of Gene Wolfe‘s extraordinary Book of the New Sun sequence. The Shadow of the Torturer won the World Fantasy Award in 1981 and the BSFA Award the year after, and the subsequent volumes (The Claw of the Conciliator, The Sword of the Lictor, The Citadel of the Autarch and coda The Urth of the New Sun) between them won the Nebula, Campbell and British Fantasy Awards, among others.


Set in a VancianDying Earth‘ milieu, The Book of the New Sun charts the extraordinary life of the young man Severian from torturers’ apprentice to . . . but that would be telling. The destination is extraordinary but the journey itself no less so; read it and you’ll see what we mean.

Chosen by readers as one of the best five fantasies published by Gollancz over its 50-year history as a regular SF publisher, The Book of the New Sun is, in our opinion, essential reading for anyone serious about modern genre fiction. But don’t just take our word for it – ask Alastair Reynolds.