mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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All These World Are Yours, Except Europa. (8; 3:5)

Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon's World; Planet of Exile & City of Illusions
by Ursula Le Guin.

White gold, yellow gold,
lonely against black velvet,
the stars of our worlds.

These are three more books in Le Guin's Hainish Cycle, telling the Dark Times, the Age of the Enemy, & shortly before. The Dispossessed is chronologically first, dealing with the FTL math of the ansible as the frame story (Planet of Exile has a character named "Shevik" which makes three Sheveks, the bolt inventor & the mathmatician included), & then there is another I haven't read, then these, which set the stage for the rise of the Ekumen that represents the human worlds in The Left Hand of Darkness. These three are actually the most Oubliette-y of her books, as they are post-technological. That is, Rocannon's World is about a human ethnologist on a planet with multiple hominin species, & for the aborigines, it is very much a fantasy novel, complete with different fantasy "races." Planet of Exile is a colony descended from spacefarers trying to make piece with the natives on a world where years are sixty Earth-years long. City of Illusions is a post-modern identity story about...well, what is it about? A man who lost his memory trying to rediscover it on a post-apocalyptic Earth kept by the alien overlords, who appear to be benign (or malign?) Illusionists; in a way it is reminiscent of the Oankali of Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis & the Oankali. With...a dash of The Glass Bead Game. The first two might as well be fantasy, with space elements, though in truth they are science fiction with a veneer of low-tech fantasy tropes; time distillation from near-light travel sure sounds like going to Fairyland & losing a century of time while you dance with the fey for a single night. I gobble that stuff up, as should come as no surprise. A quick note about ordinal terms; these three novels are collected in an omnibus. I'm counting them as separate novels, rather than one big "book" because that is how I've always done it. Since I had an additional filter-- reading women writers-- that can have an inflationary effect, so I wanted to mention it, but I don't really think it will skew things, since my plan is to try to skew away from men, anyhow. Fifty/fifty is my worst case scenario.
Tags: books, haiku, hainish cycle, le guin

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