While Wolfe was never quite as famous as some of his peers, his writing was loved intensely by his fans. Ursula Le Guin, for example, called him “our Melville,” while Michael Swanwick described him as “the greatest writer in the English language alive today.”
That level of praise (and comparisons between his best-known work and James Joyce’s “Ulysses”) might seem hyperbolic — unless you’ve actually read his best novels and stories. To some, Wolfe’s writing represents science fiction’s strongest claim toward creating capital-L Literature.
I confess I’ve never read his work. I can’t dispute the above claim to “capital-L Literature,” but it was also said of one of his contemporaries, Philip K. Dick. Which only goes to show how neglected certain writers have been for decades.
Rest in peace.