Physics in The Book of the New Sun

a series of novels by Gene Wolfe

An Introduction
to the novels
The Urth
and its Sun
The Sword
Terminus Est
The Ship
which sails between the stars
Means of Excruciation
and other miscellany
and bibliography

An Introduction...

This is a class project by Brendon Fuhs for Physics 211X (section F03) submitted on November 24, 2010

The Book of the New Sun is a series of novels by Gene Wolfe in the speculative fiction genre. There are four volumes.

The Shadow of the Torturer

The Claw of the Conciliator

The Sword of the Lictor

The Citadel of the Autarch

Additionally, there is a sequel titled...
The Urth of the New Sun

The events of these books take place in the distant future and are written as memoirs of the main character Severian. The first four books chronicle his journey from the position of torturer's apprentice to Autarch of the Commonwealth of Urth, and the final book covers his Christ-like ascension to savior (and executioner) of mankind.

It's difficult to distinctly categorize the series as either science fiction or fantasy. The narrator Severian makes little distinction between natural and supernatural or magical phenomena, but simply imparts his experiences and offers such explanations and speculations as he can provide. Complicating this is the narrator's subtle unreliability, the strangeness of the setting, and the heavy presence of religious allegory. Fortunately, we can apply our knowledge of physics to parts of Severian's narrative to enhance our understanding of the series.