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Ingathering: The Complete People Stories of Zenna Henderson (The People)

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4.47  ·  Rating details ·  601 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
A collection of all of Henderson's stories of the People (interstellar refugees), including one "Michal Without," which is published here for the first time. Cover art by Elizabeth Finney.
Hardcover, 577 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by NESFA Press (first published January 1st 1991)
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Johanna Daniels It will!! Like you, I read this over 40 years ago and re-read it just recently. As far as cultural, I don't know, but religiously, at the time of the…moreIt will!! Like you, I read this over 40 years ago and re-read it just recently. As far as cultural, I don't know, but religiously, at the time of the writing, she was Mormon. I don't see that reflected in the writing though. This is my mother's and my favorite book!(less)

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Sara Poole
Aug 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I’d love to tell you why this series of inter-connected stories about a band of alien refugees (the People) settled in the American southwest at the beginning of the 20th century captured my imagination when I was growing up, but aside from the obvious appeal to any kid who felt alienated and alone (didn’t we all?), I can’t quite explain it. Arizonan elementary school teacher Henderson wrote a spare, sometimes merciless prose. She tackled tough issues—mental illness, the challenge of being an in ...more
Matthew Gatheringwater
Considering that in Mormon theology, worthy patriarchs are rewarded with their own planet to populate, it is not surprising that Zenna Henderson, a former Mormon, would come to write a story cycle about deeply religious people from another planet after she left the Mormon faith. And it is perhaps also not surprising, that after leaving her religious home, her stories should be suffused with longing, loss, and a deep desire to find community. Her characters are often people with special abilities ...more
Gayle
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Zenna Henderson began writing science fiction in the early 1950s and continued for decades. Her best-known work (though she was never a household name) is comprised of the stories of The People, who fled their dying planet in search of a home. Those who came to Earth had to bail out of their spacecraft at the last minute, and the survivors, alone in their lifeboats, were separated. The stories reflect their (and their descendants) efforts to survive and adapt, to find each other and to preserve ...more
Donni Hakanson
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's been quite some time since I read an un-put-down-able book, and this one certainly fits the bill as one I will read again! I purchased it for $1.50 at an op shop in the mall. As engrossing as Sheri Tepper and "The Time Traveller's Wife", this collection of stories written about The People almost sixty years ago has not dated. In fact, it could have been written in contemporary times, and the themes of both the storyline and subject slot perfectly in the current popular genres of supernatura ...more
Matthew Green
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read most or all of these stories many years ago, and I really enjoyed re-reading them. They are "theistic" sci-fi, without being too much in-your-face about it (at least not by my standards). They are written with a lot of imagination, and really made an impression on me when I first read them as a child. As I found when I re-read the Chronicles of Narnia and other books I last read decades ago, I still remember my mental images of key scenes sometimes very vividly, even though I may have for ...more
Chris
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sffantasy, stories
Has the distinction of being, in my recollection, the only book that has ever made me cry that did not in some way involve brave animals. (Brave animals always make me cry.)
Cindy
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this series - re-read it regularly! Most of the stories [but not the thread connecting them] have appeared independently in various science fiction and fantasy magazines and some short story collections. The two books have been collected in the omnibus edition Ingathering: The Complete People Stories of Zenna Henderson but are also available singly as Pilgrimage and No Different Flesh.

Although she was not as well known [or as prolific] as Heinlein and Asimov and Norton, Zenna Henderson is
...more
Sheila
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
An uncommon book for the time when it was written, Christian science fiction from a female perspective. Enlightened refugees from a doomed planet try to start over on Earth where encounters with humans are often diastrous for them. Over the years I read all three of the novels which partly make up this six hundred page book. I loved the original stories, simplistic as they are and would have given them an extra star, even for sticking in my mind since the 1970's. But this compilation has some pr ...more
Werner
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of upbeat science fiction
Recommended to Werner by: I'd seen the 1972 movie inspired by these stories
A genre classic, Henderson's corpus of People stories were mostly written in the 1950s and 60s; they're all collected here, along with the bridging material she wrote for the two partial collections published in her lifetime. Resembling humans physically, and able to intermarry with humans, the People are an alien race who fled their planet around 1890 (the anthology editors' guess, in their appended chronology, is 1900) when their sun went nova; some of them crash-landed in the wilds of Henders ...more
Nicole
I wanted to like these stories. They were mentioned and lauded in Among Others, and I got really excited because, hey, a whole collection of science fiction short stories by an author I've never heard of? Neat!

But these are really one-note and they just don't do it for me. They are well-written; I really like some of the dialogue and descriptions she uses, and I like the basic premise, but the stories make me roll my eyes like crazy, and I'm only a little way in. It's the same story over and ove
...more
Pat Cummings
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I was a teenager just discovering the power of the short science fiction story by the likes of Sturgeon and Bradbury when a kind librarian put a collection of stories by Zenna Henderson, The Pilgrimage , into my hands, and I met the People for the first time. Refugees from a Home that demolished itself, the People live apart from others in the remote reaches of an Arizonan desert canyon, and in scattered other communities elsewhere.

Like Superman, another alien who fell to Earth in the same era
...more
Julie Davis
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
A friend lent me this book, recommending the short stories as fun science fiction with an overarching Christian theme. I have read three or four of them and enjoy the basic concept fairly well. They are somewhat melodramatic but I don't like them any the less for that. More problematic is the fact that I have seen where every story is heading within a few pages. On the other hand, I am interested in the bridging stories about the suicidal young woman who is brought to the Gathering to hear all t ...more
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans; fantasy fans; anyone liking good short stories
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Zenna Henderson's stories of the People have been favorites for mine since I was a teen. They have a lot of good themes--loneliness; feeling "different", accpeting strangers and many others.

These stories are technically science fiction, but fantasy readers would enjoy them as well. Actually anyone who likes a good story sshould try them, even if they usually do not read science fiction or fantasy.

If you cannot find this book, most of the stories were printed as two seperate volumes---Pilgrimage:
...more
Michael Battaglia
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One thing nice about volumes like these is they do us a bit of a service by highlighting authors and stories that have fallen by the wayside over the decades. While a good chunk of the pulp SF churned out during the 40s, 50s and 60s probably deserves to stay there and could be charmingly called "of its time" there are plenty of worthy side paths of authors who kind of diverged from the main historical narrative of SF and produced quite a bit of memorable work that just simply isn't widely rememb ...more
riverlight
One of my favorite books ever, re-read so often its dustjacket is falling to pieces. Zenna Henderson's "People" stories (all of which are collected here) deal with the People, who come to Earth from another planet when their homeworld is destroyed. They look human enough to blend in, but they are also psychically gifted—they can fly, read minds, move objects through the air, heal in ways that appear magical, etc.—and this makes for some challenges. They land in America in the late 1800s, and we ...more
Susan
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another re-read of a book I've had for a long time. For some reason it always fascinates me, and I always keep reading, despite the fact that I already know most of the stories. This is a complete collection of all her People stories, together with interludes that introduce each one. The People are aliens who fled their planet when it was destroyed, crash-landed on Earth, and got separated. They have a lot of talents (telepathy, telekinesis, etc.) which they must hide from ordinary human ...more
Kris Sellgren
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved The People stories of Zenna Henderson as a kid, and I still do decades later. The emotional content is outstanding. What I remembered most as a kid was how the essential goodness of The People stood: their kindness and willingness to help. Henderson has a great perception for complex human emotions and characters. Her feel for place is exquisite; I felt as though I were there, hiking through the Arizona mountains.
Mike
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I initially read the three volumes of stories which comprise "Ingathering" in the 70s and 80s, and they were fantastic. In reading them again, they were no less enjoyable and meeting the People again was so pleasurable.
Zach Danielson
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Zach by: David Danielson
This is some of the best science fiction I've ever read. Eschewing the conventional sci-fi obsession with technology, the focus is on community and faith, with Biblical references both subtle and overt. Instead of a futuristic city or bleak dystopian landscape, the setting is rural, pastoral. The emotions of the characters are fully realized and the stories are almost sentimental with themes of loss, alienation, compassion, wonder, and hope.

Zenna Henderson wrote and published the People Stories
...more
Neil
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book that I'm not going to finish for a while.

Henderson wrote these stories mainly in the 1950s. Thanks to NESFA Press, which specializes in returning great SF to print, they're available again. Henderson grew up as a Mormon in a corner of Arizona, feeling very isolated from the rest of the world. That experience was reinforced when she taught Japanese-Americans in an internment camp during WWII. She knew what it is like to feel estranged from the world, and she turned that e
...more
Martha
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
The stories in this book all revolve around aliens who realized their planet was about to self-destruct, left in a hurry, and ended up on Earth. But even though it's sci fi, none of the stories are set in the future; the time periods covered go from the early 1900s to sometime around the 1960s. (They were written over a period of time from 1950s to about 1975.)

At first I wasn't sure I would finish this book. The stories were sort of corny and overly sentimental. The People are supposed to be sor
...more
Wilma
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read a story about "The People" in Isaac Asimov's collection, Tomorrow's Children, many years ago, and fell in love with them. Eventually I found most of the other People stories in a couple of paperback collections. Somehow, over the years I lost those books, so was thrilled when this complete collection became available.

The People look just like us, but they are different, having come to earth as refugees, when there planet was destroyed at the end of the nineteenth century. Because of their
...more
Melody
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary. I read and re-read Henderson's People books as a young girl and as an alienated teen. No, that's not fair- I didn't read them, I clung to them as a lifeline and dared to hope that there would be a place for me somewhere, someday. I'm pleased to report that, first of all, I've found a lovely place for me, and secondly, Henderson's stories hold up over time.

I have carried the Francher kid in my heart all these years, and it was glorious to meet him again. And Karen, of course. And t
...more
Shomeret
The impact of these stories is probably greater if they are read one at a time (as they were published) rather than consecutively as I did. I became very aware of repetitive plot motifs, character types and themes. I might not have noticed this if there had been a time lapse between each story.

Nevertheless, there were six stories that stood out for me as being especially powerful or dealing with the story's themes in a complex way. The one that I thought was most outstanding was "The Indelible K
...more
Wendy
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rose, Heidi, Catherine, Kristine, Tracey, Glenda, Christina, Emily, Kathy, Tiana, Bessie
As a child, I read Zenna Henderson's short story collections, The Pilgrimage and The People: No Different Flesh, from my parents' bookshelves. I didn't realize then how unusual the stories were--Christian science fiction from a female perspective uncommon in the 1950s & 60s. I reread certain stories as a teenager and young adult, but not the whole canon until last week, when I borrowed Ingathering (a reprinted compilation) from my father, to whom I gave it for Christmas 2010.

Anyway, Ingathe
...more
Jacey
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a collection of stories, all but one first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from the early 50s to the mid 70s. The People are aliens who escaped the destruction of their own planet and crash landed in the American southwest just before the turn of the century. There's a deep sense of place. The stories are largely concerned with the way the people (fully human in appearance though possessing powers) make an effort to blend in with humanity, mostly in their own lit ...more
Peter
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have heard the name Zenna Henderson for almost the entire time that I have been reading sci-fi. I have even taken this book off of the shelf several times, but it always looked dated (she started writing in the early 1950’s). This book was included in a group of books that I borrowed from a friend (thanks Dave!). Henderson’s stories of the People are a wonderful testament to some of the less appreciated stengths of the science fiction. At its best, science fiction can help us view ourselves fr ...more
Marion Granigan
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first came across the stories of the People about 45 years ago, and what unhappy teenager wouldn’t be drawn to stories of a group of aliens with magical powers, right? And Christian science fiction from a female perspective was VERY uncommon in the 1950s & 60s! The People are remnants of a group of aliens, outwardly indistinguishable from humans, who crash-landed on Earth around the beginning of the 20th century after disasters made their home world uninhabitable. Zenna Henderson wrote “no ...more
C.A. Clark
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
These stories are a gentle look at what if aliens came here as refugees and how we as humans might treat them. It explores how refugees react to the various trials and tribulations of being strangers in a new world and fills the pages with the amazing talents of an alien race that is not bent on destruction but on kindness and love. I have reread Zenna Henderson's stories many many times and I am always moved to wishing that these people were real.

It took me a long time to realise that the movi
...more
Tina Weaver
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first paranormal I've read and I love it. This book contains the original story of Tia and Tony from the movie Escape to Witch Mtn and Return to Witch Mtn. It also spawned the movie THE PEOPLE staring Kim Darby. Not a good movie but it was based on a chapter in the book of The People.
This is an amazing story and I wish I could give it 10 stars

Zenna's books were, in my opinion, the first paranormals of its kind. They weren't the typical Sci-Fi of the era nor were they fantasy. Every
...more
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Zenna Chlarson Henderson was born on November 1, 1917 in the Tucson, Arizona area. She graduated from Arizona State in 1940 with a Bachelors degree in education and worked as a teacher in Arizona throughout her life. She died on May 11, 1983, at the age of 65, in Tucson.

Henderson is known almost entirely for short stories about "The People." The People are a race of sensitive, human-looking alien
...more
More about Zenna Henderson

Other Books in the Series

The People (4 books)
  • Pilgrimage: The Book of the People (The People)
  • The People: No Different Flesh (The People)
  • A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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“Who is to say which is better--to hunger and be fed, or to be fed so continuously that you never know hunger? Sometimes a little fasting is good for the soul. Think of a cold drink of water after an afternoon in the hayfield.” 2 likes
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