Honoring Gene Wolfe

Last weekend I sent out the first announcements about the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe. I haven’t been this excited about an event since my book launch last October.

There’s a question often asked at parties and dinners long before it became popular as an internet meme:

“Whom would you invite to your dream dinner party?”

Sometimes the question is posed to allow for historical figures. Other times it includes fictional characters. Sometimes it’s limited to only five people, or to a single category like authors or musicians, comic book characters or holy people. The premise is basically the same: given the opportunity, what interesting people would you choose to invite to a party?

An Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe is a bit like my dream dinner party: Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, Gary K. Wolfe, Peter Straub, Michael Dirda, Audrey Niffenegger, Michael Swanwick, David Hartwell, Luis Urrea,  Jody Lynn Nye, Patrick O’Leary, and Larry Santoro (plus there are more to be announced soon).


These intelligent, creative, and talented people are gathering at the fantastic Sanfilippo Estate to honor the incredible storyteller and talented writer, Gene Wolfe. Most famous for his epic series The Book of the New Sun, Gene’s writing is smart, beautiful, and stretches beyond the limitations of genre to create unforgettable characters and provocative stories.

“Wolfe is a writer for the thinking reader; he will reward anyone searching for intelligence, crafted prose, involving stories, and atmospheric detail. He is the heir of many literary traditions—pulp stories, fantasy, adventure stories of all kinds, and serious literature—and he makes use of all of them.” ~Pamela Sargent, Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers

Alongside our guests, characters from Gene’s short stories in their Steampunk finest will peruse Sanfilippo’s collections of antique music boxes and gambling machines, Tiffany lamps and phonographs, 65 coin-operated pianos and a street clock that stands 20 feet tall. Not to mention a 1881 Grant Steam Locomotive.

It’s a fitting backdrop for a wonder-filled evening.

Did I mention it’s a dinner party with many of my favorite people?

That means you are invited. Hope to see you in the shadow of the 1890 European Eden Palais Carousel.

Register for An Evening to Honor Gene Wolfe at the Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills, IL  on Eventbrite

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of MOTHER CHRISTMAS, THE SILENCE OF TREES, and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya and on Mastodon.social @valya

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