Helliconia Winter (Helliconia #3)
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...more
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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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
On reflection then, as Aldiss writes about the Great Year, and in Helliconia Winter, about the ...more
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
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 ...more
For me, this trilogy was a long read, much too long! Too many repetitions, long descriptions, som ...more
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 ...more