I’ve enjoyed Gene Wolfe’s novels in the past, but always seem to end up disappointed by his short fiction. ‘Seven American Nights’ is a novella in which one Nadan Jaffarzadeh travels to anAmericawhose civilisation collapsed as a result of genetic damage; whilst there, he becomes infatuated with an actress he sees on stage.

I don’t find the story of Nadan’s journey engaging; don’t feel the sense of uncertainty that I’d expect from a subplot concerning whether or not he has ingested a hallucinogen; and the twist ending and odd moments of disjunction between Wolfe’s ruinedAmericaand the one we know are not enough to carry the story. Not one for me.

Rating: **½

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology Not the Only Planet.