Ericthehamster's Reviews > Helliconia Spring

Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss
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's review
May 22, 2008

"A really hard book to review (and I am not very good at this anyway - I'm the sort of person who says ""this is a really good story"" - which doesn't really bode too well for a discussion at a book group!).[return][return]The first part of a trilogy,covering thousands of years, the eponymous planet is part of a binary star system which gives it a ""long year"" (governed by its circulation around the furthest, but warmer star). Each season (hence the title) covers millenia. We start the series comingout of a long winter on a par with the worst ice ages of Earth. The tensionof the book is increased by the antagonistic relationship between two sentient species: the ""human"" types on the planet, and the aggressive (although apparently of bovine origin) phagors. Phagors are in the ascendancy in the long winter, humans in the summer. Throughout, the inhabitants are observed from Earth via a space station orbiting Helliconia.[return][return]The three books cover the changes to the seasons and the biological and cultural effects of this, in a multi-layered way which is on a par with Dune (although a completely different book).[return][return]As with Dune, this took me several starts to get into it, bt also as with Dune, once started, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended."

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