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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan 1

by Gene Wolfe
Publication Date: 13/09/2020
3/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $42.99 $38.95

Hundreds of years in the future our civilization is shrunk down but we go on. There is advanced technology, there are robots.

And there are clones.

E.A. Smithe is a borrowed person, his personality an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human.

As such, Smithe can be loaned to other branches. Which he is. Along with two fellow reclones, a cookbook and romance writer, they are shipped to Polly’s Cove, where Smithe meets a little girl who wants to save her mother, a father who is dead but perhaps not.

And another E.A. Smithe...who definitely is.

Science fiction
Publication Date:
Tom\Doherty#Associates, LLC
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):
Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe (1931-2019) was a winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, as well as the Nebula Award (2), the World Fantasy Award (3-most recently for Soldier of Sidon), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Prix Apollo. In 2007, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. In 2013, he received the SFWA Grand Master Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

3 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • disappointing

    by on

    Interlibrary Loan is the second book (and last) in the Borrowed Man series by award-winning American author, Gene Wolfe. It’s the twenty-second century, the human population is down to a billion, technology is highly advanced, and ‘bots, sims and clones are part of everyday life.

    Ern A. Smithe, a reclone of the 21st Century mystery writer, is puzzled to find himself on the new and luxurious truck with two other reclone resources from Spice Grove Public Library. Ern’s friend, Millie Baumgartner is a renowned cookbook writer, while Rose Romain is a romance writer. They have apparently been requested for interlibrary loan to Polly’s Cove Public Library.

    Once there, Ern is checked out by young Chandra Fevre on behalf of her mother, Adah, but on his way out the door, he catches sight of an older, very much dilapidated copy of himself for sale in the lobby. At the Fevre house, Ern is shown what resembles a treasure map and is told a fantastic story of a boat journey and a missing husband: one Dr Barry Fevre, anatomy professor at Spice Grove University. But is Barry really missing? Adah’s story isn’t entirely reliable.

    Before long, Ern has enlisted the help of reclone nautical author, Audrey Hopkins, and a journey in an apparently sentient boat with mother and daughter Fevre to an Arctic island, reputed to be the source of cadavers for anatomical dissection, is underway. From there the story manages to include ice caves, angels(?), a self-building, animate house, a Continental cop, and some very tall trees. Ern is checked out to help solve a murder.

    It’s difficult to say whether the ending is intended as a cliff-hanger (never to be explained now the author has died) or simply vague because the manuscript was perhaps incomplete. There were some inconsistencies that might have been corrected by a diligent editor. The last fifteen percent is rather disjointed, and the lack of any real resolution gives this sequel an unfinished feel. After the promise of A Borrowed Man, this last novel by Wolfe is, sadly, disappointing.
    This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Tor/Forge