Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1966
Genre Scifi
Origin US
My Copy library paperback
First Read August 31, 2013

Planet of Exile

I'm always surprised when a scifi book turns out to be decently written, but I should know better now with Le Guin.

This is another great short novel from the Hainish series, which just means it's set against a background of some kind of universal empire. In Planet of Exile, our hero is part of a colony planted on a remote world, and then abandoned for centuries. The locals are stone-age village tribes, and over dozens of generations the colony has been slowly contracting, assimilating, and otherwise devolving without technological help from the empire. It's another fascinating spin on the 'expansion of the empire' idea.

The immediate plot is actually very similar to For Whom the Bell Tolls. Our hero is drawn into a focused military engagement with the locals, where has to get them to work together to achieve a limited goal over a crisis point. And that goal is complicated by our hero falling in love with one of the locals.

Noted on September 2, 2013

But to Wold the collapse of the Tevaran world was only part of the collapse of his own life. Knowing that he was far along the way to death, he looked with great benevolence on each day and on all younger men, human or faborn: they were the ones who had to keep fighting.

Quoted on September 2, 2013

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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