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Wulfsyarn: a mosaic by Phillip Mann - Part 3
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Wulfsyarn by Phillip Mann. While working for the benevolent religious sect, the Gentle Order of Saint Francis Dionysus, Wulf--one of the few remaining autoscribes--witnesses the downfall of John Wilberfoss, a starship captain driven to madness.
Wulfsyarn: A Mosaic
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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 27, Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: science-fiction. I first read this book when I was fourteen. Any memories of its plot or resolution had since completely evaporated from my mind, and marking it as 'to-read' several months ago sparked no recognition. A week ago, twenty three years after first opening Wulfsyarn , I picked Mann's book up again and started reading.
Four or five pages in I recognised the unique protagonist - Wulf, an autoscribe, an AI mind housed in a shell that resembles a 4. This presented a dilemma for me. I don't read books twice, and my rekindled memory of this one consisted entirely of a residual sense of boredom.
I was tempted to put it down and move on, but I recently read Mann's The Disestablishment of Paradise , and loved it, rating it as one of my favorite SF books of the last few years. The Disestablishment of Paradise is a gentle, philosophical work of SF with moments of real feeling and beauty and it stands out in a genre prone to breakneck plots, railgun battles, galaxy-wide conspiracies etc.
So, wondering whether my teenage self with my adolescent taste for high-speed narratives and 'splosions may have misjudged this book, I resolved to give it thirty pages to see how it went. I'm very, very glad that I did so. Wulfsyarn is a fascinating piece of SF, and it's a story that completely drew me in, keeping me up late and looking for excuses to retreat to my bean bag and read.
I felt it was structurally flawed in the sense that we know how it ends as soon as it starts. Where's the dramatic tension?
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OK -- I contradict myself. Like Whitman, I am large and I contain multitudes. Nevertheless "Wulfsyarn" always felt thin to me. The characters didn't live and breathe in the way they do in his other novels. I agree with your comment that he doesn't publish quickly enough.
Wulfsyarn by Phillip Mann
It's not his fault though he has a lot of unpublished material on hand. Very frustrating cover to photograph! RachelJ — It looks like you have a knock-off cover. And embossing! Raoul 7.
I still wish I knew how the title is meant to be pronounced. Two syllables or three? Raoul Wulfsyarn—The story of a Nazi U-Boat Commander who, tired of the endless horrors of war, deserts his ship and concocts a long, rambling and implausible story as a cover up. This cover comes across more as a medley than a mosaic.
It may even be a melange.
Definitely not a mosaic. So at least the covers improved. Wulf S. Yarn : the story of a furry who also knits. Yiffing in heck. Juan Paul and Anna T.