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Back in print for the first time in more than a decade, Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus is a universally acknowledged masterpiece of science fiction by one of the field's most brilliant writers.
Far out from Earth, two sister planets, Saint Anne and Saint Croix, circle each other in an eternal dance. It is said a race of shapeshifters once lived here, only to perish when men came. But one man believes they can still be found, somewhere in the back of the beyond.
In The Fifth Head of Cerberus, Wolfe skillfully interweaves three bizarre tales to create a mesmerizing pattern: the harrowing account of the son of a mad genius who discovers his hideous heritage; a young man's mythic dreamquest for his darker half; the bizarre chronicle of a scientists' nightmarish imprisonment. Like an intricate, braided knot, the pattern at last unfolds to reveal astonishing truths about this strange and savage alien landscape.
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A brothel keeper's sons discuss genocide and plot murder; a young alien wanderer is pursued by his shadow double; and a political prisoner tries to prove his identity, not least to himself. Gene Wolfe's first novel consists of three linked sections, all of them elegant broodings on identity, sameness, and strangeness, and all of them set on the vividly evoked colony worlds of Ste. Croix and Ste. Anne, twin planets delicately poised in mutual orbit.
Marsch, the victim in the third story, is the apparent author of the second and a casual visitor whose naïve questions precipitate tragedy in the first. The sections dance around one another like the planets of their settings. Clones, downloaded personalities inhabiting robots, aliens that perhaps mimicked humans so successfully that they forgot who they were, a French culture adopted by its ruthless oppressors--there are lots of ways to lose yourself, and perhaps the worst is to think that freedom consists of owning other people, that identity is won at the expense of others.
It is easy to be impressed by the intellectual games of Wolfe's stunning book and forget that he is, and always has been, the most intensely moral of SF writers. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
Gene Wolfe has been called "the finest writer the science fiction world has yet produced" by The Washington Post. A former engineer, he has written numerous books and won a variety of awards for his SF writing.
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Book Description London: Quartet Books # 31176 1st Printing, 1975. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: Very Good+. .. ----------paperback. Edgewear, a VG+ copy. Seller Inventory # 012331
Book Description Quartet, 1975. Soft cover. Condition: Good: Moderate signs of wear. Cover Art: Jim Burns (illustrator). 1975 Edition. © 1972: A collection of 3 linked, but independent, novellas by Gene Wolfe. 1st printing of 1975 edition:- Contents: The Fifth Head Of Cerberus / 'A Story', by John V Marsch / V.R.T.:- Synopsis: "We had no names before men came out of the sky," the Old Wise One said dreamily. "We were mostly long and lived in holes between the roots of trees." On the Planet of Saint Anne, Sandwalker and the Shadow children have been imprisoned in a pit by the Marshmen, and try to remember who are the humans, who are the aborigines. Millennia later, on the sister planet of Sainte Croix, the children of a wealthy brothel-keeper and latter-day alchemist play in the slave market under the fond, watchful TV-eye of their robot nursemaid. And John V Marsch is in prison, a puzzle to his captors. Is he Earthling anthropologist, spy or Annese metamorphic?:- Review(s): "Three linked but dissimilar tales, each excellent, sensitive and much enhanced by its compactness" - Times Literary Supplement / "Has a compelling, dream-like quality" - Edmund Cooper, Sunday Times / "Highly original and moving" - James Blish:- (original cost £0.50). Seller Inventory # 12.011.00288
Book Description Quartet, London, 1975. Soft. Condition: Good. Black card covers, cover art by Jim Burns, white lettering on black spine, light rubbing to edges, lightly scuffed, not creased cracked or bent; previous owner name on ffep dated 1976; 192+ pgs.; pages brown with age, clean & tight. Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" Tall. Seller Inventory # 016404
Book Description Quartet, 1975. New Edition. Condition: vg+. 1st edition Quartet 1975 paperback, vg+ In stock shipped from our UK warehouse. Seller Inventory # 17654
Book Description Quartet, 1975. reprint. Condition: vg. 1st Quartet edition paperback. vg condition. In stock shipped from our UK warehouse. Seller Inventory # 69393
Book Description QUARTET BOOKS. PAPERBACK. Condition: Fair. 0704311763 , COVER WORN , CREASE TO COVER , PAGES DISCOLOURED , SIGNS OF WEAR AND TEAR NOTHING MAJOR. Seller Inventory # HHH0040482
Book Description QUARTET BOOKS. PAPERBACK. Condition: Good. 0704311763. Seller Inventory # CCC0008734
Book Description London: Quartet Books 1975 First Quartet Paperback Printing ISBN 0-704-31176-3, 1975. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. VG+ Cover art by Jim Burns. Seller Inventory # 17937
Book Description Quartet Books 01/06/1975, 1975. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780704311763
Book Description Quartet Books, 1975. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Fifth Head of Cerberus This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Seller Inventory # 7719-9780704311763