See what I have! I am now the envy of every admirer of Gene Wolfe who happens to be of a scholarly bent.
Michael Andre-Driussi is the author of Lexicon Urthus and The Wizard Knight Companion, both of which are indispensable reference works for the serious Wolfean or Wolfeist or Werwolfe or whatever the heck you'd call those of us who enjoy delving deep into the master's works. To this select company we may now add Gate of Horn, Book of Silk: A Guide to Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun and The Book of the Short Sun.
This is the easiest possible book to review because if you need it, you know that you do and you've probably just now returned to this post all in a sweat to find out why you can't find it on any of the online booksellers.
That's because it's not scheduled to be published until sometime in, um, October I believe. Here, though, just to give you a taste, is a single entry from the Long Sun half:
Xiphias, Master "a one-legged fencing teacher" (III, list); "Silk's self-appointed bodyguard" (IV, list). Auk introduces Silk to Master Xiphias as a new student (I, chap. 13. 324). Having lost a leg to treachery, Xiphias now has a removable prosthetic made up of pieces from five others. (See NUMEROLOGY.) He thinks Silk is left-handed and has studied under another sword master. (On the other hand, Silk's right arm has been injured in his night at Blood's mansion, which might cast doubt upon Xiphias's professional opinion in spotting a wound, or the behavior compensating for a wound, as well as gauging sword-fighting ability.)
During the revolution of Viron, Xiphias participates in the battle of Cage Street and kills five troopers (III, chap. 6, 229).
Zoology: a genus of fishes comprising the common swordfish.
and, what the heck:
yataghan one of Xiphias's swords (III, chap. 6, 232). A type of Turkish sword used from the mid-16th through the late 19th centuries. The single-edge blade, measuring 60 to 80 cm (24 to 32 inches), curves forward like the Iberian flacata or the Greek kopis.
In a better world people like Andre-Driussi would create books like this, uncommercial though they may be, simply because they ought to exist. The fact that he and they nevertheless exist in our own, fallen universe is inexplicable. Divine intervention may well be involved.