The Fuligin Shroud

One of the many science-fictional conceits of Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer is the material composing the protagonist's cloak. The material is called "fuligin," so named because it absorbs light so completely that it appears as a single black mass. Even folds and creases in the fabric cannot be discerned.

Last night, as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep, a new aspect of my bookshelf caught my eye. I keep my science fiction in my bedroom against the far wall. In the dim light, which seeped in at the edges of my curtains, I could just make out the blue spines of my John Wyndham books, the multicolor array of Serdar Yegulalp's printed works, and the silver sheen of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We. However, to their left, in the spot where I knew I had placed the Gene Wolfe collection, there was only a dark, empty spot, the appearance of a gap in my collection, a void. I knew that the books were there, all four of "The Book of the New Sun" series in their sleek, Folio Society slipcase, but nothing was visible, not even a glint of the red lettering on the books' spines.

Bravo, Folio Society. Bravo.

Categories: Literature

Tags: Gene Wolfe Book of the New Sun