Minireview — <i>Solar Labyrinth</i> by Robert Borski

Recently read Robert Borski’s Solar Labyrinth (iUniverse, 2004) [ Amazon ]. Somewhat in the tradition of Michael Andre-Driussi’s Lexicon Urthus [&nbspAmazon ], it’s an exegesis on Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New SunClarkesworld | Amazon ].

For whatever it’s worth, I think BotNS is the finest thing I have ever read, and my experiences of reading and rereading that book are directly connected to my becoming a writer. So my interest in elucidations of Wolfean subtlety is high, to say the least. However, I found the Borski rather less satisfying that Andre-Driussi’s book.

In all fairness, they approach the matter differently. Lexicon Urthus is, unsurprisingly, a lexicon, very similar in organization and material to one of those Bible concordances. Such analysis as it presents is within the purview of the brief entries. Solar Labyrinth is a collection of essays, some reprinted from the New York Review of Science Fiction, and as such ranges somewhat more randomly but in more individual depth. It carries fascinating glimpses into Wolfe’s work, but Borksi also places a lot of weight on cryptograms and gematria which I found difficult to credit. He does draw a number of hidden connections to light which were not obvious to me, and those in turn will deepen my next enjoyment of BotNS.

A fascinating book, and recommended to Wolfe completists and hardcore fans, but otherwise a bit deep for most tastes. (And thank you to David Moles for bringing it to my attention.)