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Helliconia Winter (Helliconia #3)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,350 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews

A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter.

The centuries-long winter of the Great Year on Helliconia is upon us, and the Oligarch is taking harsh measures to ensure the survival of the people of the bleak Norther

Mass Market Paperback
Published September 18th 1986 by Triad Books (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,308)
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Ian Banks
Sep 15, 2015 Ian Banks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
And it ends, still a few centuries before true Winter descends upon the world. This time the story is a little less epic, but still compelling, as the cycle comes a little closer to home. The Earth Observation Station is a ruin, as is Earth, and Helliconia itself seems to be descending slowly into hibernation. There's a lot here to depress you, as Helliconian society seems determined to do the work of the winter for it and wipe itself out. People behave badly and do stupid things in the name of ...more
The epic trilogy about the world of Helliconia, in some ways so similar to Earth, and yet, because of the virus, forever out of our reach, is finished, and in a good way. It is a very ambitious project to cover the span of a few thousand years, and more, in a science fiction trilogy, but Aldiss managed to do it -- and he did it through human (and not just human) drama and political intrigue, thus making it very alive and never boring or like an encyclopedia entry.
Dec 27, 2014 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series.

Aldiss achieved an incredible feat of world-building. Helliconia is detailed and intricate and rich, the ecosystem finely tuned to the specific quirks of the binary star system he imagined. The necrogenic animals, the cycles across the Great and Small Years, the subhuman races and their quirks all blew my mind. The Bone Fever and Fat Death and their use for adapting Helliconia's humans to the changing seasons were just brilliant. The subplot dealing with background developmen
Dominic Green
May 26, 2015 Dominic Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like so much of Aldiss, the Helliconia series combines colossal artistic talent with a grumpy, curmudgeonly view of the universe. The great wheels that the stars mark out around each other - the driving point of the Helliconia series is the fact that a red star, Batalix, orbits elliptically around a much larger star, Freyr - act as metaphors for the wheel of fate which, as far as individual human beings are concerned, grinds exceedingly small. All species on Helliconia - the "human" inhabitants ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
This probably ought to be called "Autumn" rather than "Winter" as it mostly concerns the Sibornalese civilisation's preparations for the forthcoming "Weyr"-winter, rather than life in the depths of the planets centuries long "mini ice-age". Technology hasn't quite advanced as far as one would hope either; this is a few centuries after Summer and I'd have thought they'd have got as far as steam engines (there is a very brief mention of some primitive railways) if not electricity, but they aren't ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of all the books in this trilogy (I say that like there are more than 3. . . ) this one is my favorite. Granted – all of them were tedious at times to wade through, the names were nearly impossible to pronounce, and the whole Avernus space station thing got a little hairy there at the end. But still, I’m glad I forced myself to read this series in its entirety. I was especially pleased that – while this book followed its forerunners by telling many stories at once – we didn’t skip around thr ...more
Dans ce roman, on suit les pas d'un homme, Luterin Shoderankit, dans ses aventures autour du glacial continent de Sibornal, qui s'enfonce doucement dans l'hiver des grandes années d'Helliconia. Toutes ces aventures n'ont hélas pas vraiment de but, car Luterin est un pantin dont les ficelles sont tirées par son père (mais de loin, donc il s'en doute pas). Du coup, on le voit errer à travers les préparatifs militaires d'une nation qui souhaite survivre par tous les moyens à un hiver qui durera plu ...more
Natasha Hurley-Walker
It's difficult to summarise my experience reading this trilogy in a simple review. For starters, I felt I couldn't adequately judge the first book alone, no more than one could judge a tree by its first leaves, so I read the whole trilogy as if it were part of one large arc - if not quite a great circle. Besides the sheer length of book to review, the other problem I have is that I just didn't enjoy it very much. But this is a trilogy about aliens living in a complex biosphere and plots the rise ...more
Solid conclusion to this series.

This one focuses on the northern continent Sibornal, and amongst the plotting and goings-on of the details of the characters is largely a meditation on the justifiability or lack thereof of an authoritian society to 'preserve civilization' as the Helliconian Winter sets in. Shades of Orwell in this respect ... though the main characters do go through some interesting developments, I felt the twists and turns were generally fairly predictable and it wasn't quite as
Apr 25, 2013 Autumn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about an alien planet peopled by a few different species of varying sentience. It has a winter that is centuries long followed by a summer that is decades long. It is not as easy a read as my usual YA fare because the author writes using the thought processes of the main sentient species. I loved it for this reason.

They are similar to humans. Their male/female dynamics are similar to many traditional Earth cultures. In this book, women and non-dominant-species characters get short
Aug 23, 2007 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who read the first two in the sequence
My feeling about this is that Aldiss was running out of steam by Book Three - and why not? It is an absolutely magisterial trilogy; encompassing the best of world-building, almost before that phrase was invented, superb anthropology and biology, not to mention complex cosmology and wonderfully absorbing stories. Helliconia Summer is my favourite, because the characters (human and phagor) brim with life.

On reflection then, as Aldiss writes about the Great Year, and in Helliconia Winter, about the
Nicholas Whyte

Helliconia Winter didn't work for me anything like as well as the first two. I found the plot meandering, the gender politics pretty unpleasant, and the Earth observation sections taken in unwelcome and not very interesting directions. I may be in a minority; it also won the BSFA award, though I must say I have not heard of three of its four opponents
Feb 20, 2014 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this years ago. Recently rediscovered it when Googling for a remembered great stone wheel which featured in a book I'd read. I remembered finding the book quite a slog, but this time had no trouble reading it in a few days. Found it fascinating. The style is a little hard to get along with as the planet and its ecosystem are the main characters, which means that the stories of the book's human characters can end in the middle without warning. Wonderful landscapes and an epic tale, and a sat ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Simon rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
The last of the trilogy and, as with the previous volume we take a leap into the future with no continuing characters. The basic set-up remains the same but this time it's getting colder. The cold brings a harshness as the rulers believe that they must become as cruel and oppressive as the climate in order to survive.
The occasional cuts to the Earth observation station and back to Earth itself finally start to make sense and are properly integrated into the story, but they're still uninvolving a
Nov 08, 2012 Cecile rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, english
This last book of the trilogy is probably a fitting ending to the whole story. It still has some of the flaws of the previous book, but the story is here more focused on less characters, except for (boring) diversions to life on Earth or the Avernus. If it had be too much better, it would have been frustrating to stop there. As it is, I was just glad to finish the series on a barely good enough book.
For me, this trilogy was a long read, much too long! Too many repetitions, long descriptions, som
Jun 05, 2016 Flinx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best one of the series. The idea of the Great Wheel is so wonderful that i feel a lot of envy for not imagining it myself!
Apr 04, 2013 Miramira rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Helliconia Winter suffers an ailment common to later installments of millennia-spanning sci-fi series: plot and characterization take a backseat to extensive philosophical pontificating on What It All Means and Why We Are Here. This is particularly problematic in Helliconia, though: as the Helliconians' civilization falters under the onset of Winter and Earth drifts toward indolence, the answers to these questions appear to be "nothing" and "no special reason." Which, while a perfectly acceptabl ...more
Feb 10, 2015 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really not sure what the point of the Helliconia Series was?
Nov 26, 2015 thecryptile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The masterful conclusion to the epic Helliconia trilogy.
Anthony Faber
Nov 02, 2015 Anthony Faber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 3 of the Helliconia trilogy. This book seems like a rush job to me. Maybe he got tired? Still, it's above average SF.
Steve Steidle
Probably the strongest entry into the series, but still underwhelming.
Edward Davies
If you can get passed the sheer volume of this trilogy you'll find a well thought through universe that Aldiss has clearly put a lot of thought into. Sadly for me this didn't really get going until Winter, by which time I'd already felt like the first two thirds of the series had been something of a waste.
Jan 03, 2011 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's the last in the triology and is darker, as the planet moves back to winter. Things on the space station that's orbitted the planet and observed it for hundreds of years are going seriously awry, too. It left me glad for the completion of the cycle and yet, sad.
Bob Kublawi
A wonderful finish to the brilliant Helliconia series, the three novels of this trilogy are a wonderful blend of true science-fiction and engaging storytelling. Aldiss' three novels are, I believe, required reading for science fiction enthusiasts.
Sep 17, 2007 Shane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Disappointing but not entirely unenjoyable. The Helliconia Trilogy lacks the author's usual wit and stylistic flair. The second installment - Helliconia Summer - is by far the best of the three.
Jun 15, 2011 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Winter is the shortest and possibly the least interesting book of the trilogy. Felt like Aldiss was running out of ideas here and was in a hurry to get the story over.
Mar 31, 2013 Kerri-ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-award
British Science Fiction Association Award for Novel (1986)
Robert C.
Aug 18, 2014 Robert C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a series that has haunted me ever since I read it.
Brilliant, epic in the true sense, Big Ideas Sci-Fi.
Aug 25, 2013 Cathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great content, but a little slow for my taste.
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Pseudonyms: Jael Cracken, Peter Pica, John Runciman, C.C. Shackleton, Arch Mendicant, & "Doc" Peristyle.

Brian Wilson Aldiss is one of the most important voices in science fiction writing today. He wrote his first novel while working as a bookseller in Oxford. Shortly afterwards he wrote his first work of science fiction and soon gained international recognition. Adored for his innovative liter
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Other Books in the Series

Helliconia (3 books)
  • Helliconia Spring (Helliconia, #1)
  • Helliconia Summer (Helliconia, #2)

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