Working nights has its particular pleasures, one of which is having quiet time in the solitude of the wee hours. In between the typically not-too-arduous tasks I have to perform, there is plenty of time for reading, or for listening to podcasts. Recently, I found a way to combine recreational reading and podcast listening in the form of a podcast about my beloved Gene Wolfe. The ReReading Wolfe podcast has a tagline which rings true for the Wolfe fan: "You can't read a Gene Wolfe story, you can only reread a Gene Wolfe story."
Wolfe's oeuvre consists of dense, literary 'genre fiction', with unreliable narrators, allusions to other works of fiction, and plenty of wordplay. The podcast has been concentrating on a chapter-by-chapter review of Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, his magnum opus. TBotNS is ultimately a story about stories, set in a future in which so much history has accumulated that it is indistinguishable from myth- in one hilarious moment, the protagonist reads a story in which the Minotaur and the Monitor are conflated. The book is dense, and requires a lot of careful attention, so a reread accompanied by a discussion, including guest appearances by Wolfe scholars, is a fun exercise. The podcast is also very funny, with each episode being presented by a fake sponsor which is lifted from the text of the book.
It's a fun listen for a certain demographic, of which I am a member. Best of all, it's gotten me to pick up the book again. I've read it a couple of times, trying to piece together more of the Byzantine narrative which lurks behind the main plot. If you're a Wolfe fan, it's pretty much essential listening.