Planet Of Exile

Planet of Exile - Ursula K. Le Guin This was Ursula Le Guin's second novel, one of the books in her Hainish series that includes the famous Left Hand of Darkness. It's not anywhere near as impressive as that book or the first three Earthsea books, classics in science fiction and fantasy. But more so than her first novel, Rocannon's World, you can see her authorial voice and theme beginning to develop. Her first book seemed like Tolkien's Middle Earth overlayed with space opera. In clever ways, but hardly original. This one is still rather conventional--nothing radical in its ideas in the way of Left Hand of Darkness, but it's one where the planet's cosmology does more to drive the plot: this is a planet with a year sixty times longer than our earth about to enter a winter that will last 15 of our years. Although this is hardly hard science fiction--the science of this book is more anthropology than physics and telepathic powers are part of the mix. Still, this feels more like science fiction than Rocannon's World, which felt half-fantasy. In this book humans have been established on the planet of exile for 600 years in Earth terms. They've isolated themselves, respecting the laws of their ancestors not to interfere with the indigenous people on the planet. But circumstances are forcing them to chose between staying human and exiles, or truly making the planet home. I wouldn't call this book particularly memorable compared to Le Guin's other works--but it is enjoyable.