Before the Labyrinthine Lore of 'Dark Souls,' There Was Gene Wolfe

Postscript is Cameron Kunzelman's weekly column about endings, apocalypses, deaths, bosses, and all sorts of other finalities.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Before reading this I just want to say it is super great to see more original art from Stephen Maurice Graham!

Quick correction: Wolfe is reported to have died on Sunday April 14 not Saturday!

Edit: Beautiful piece. Thank you for writing it.

Nice article! I wish I remembered more of The Fifth Head of Cerberus, but besides liking it, kind of a blur. I should try Book of the New Sun this year.

This is a great piece. It gets right to the heart of what I love about the experience of reading Gene Wolfe’s puzzle-box novels. In a way his books spoiled me other books in a similar way that e. e. cummings spoiled me for other poets.

It was cool to see the parallel here to the way Dark Souls presents a narrative and gameplay based puzzle box that rewards replay, and it reminded me of the conversation With Open Mike Eagle and the waypoint crew on the same subject.

Thanks for these extremely good words!

Yeah I was glad to see this here, since New Sun in particular was definitely one of the many fantasy works that inspired a lot of what we see in FromSoftware’s games also. It’s basically required reading for any Souls fan.

The only Gene Wolfe I’ve ever read was the first book in his Latro series, Soldier in the mist, and the first chunk of the second book. Even having an incomplete reading of it, the story and conceit of the book has stayed with me for years.

Michael Kirkbride said in a recent interview that Books of the New Sun was an insperation for Morrowind and you can really see it, especially with the unreliable narrator of Vivec.

1 Like