Just finished reading Planet of Exile, a book by Ursula K Le Guin, and part of her 'Hainish Cycle' from the 1960s
This was my first encounter with Le Guin and although its a short book (126 pages) it was a struggle to finish to be honest!
Basically its set on a planet that has a strange cycle in which each year is sixty earth years and days are counted in Moonphases-the moon and the planet are locked in a strange cosmic dance and the whole system travels around the sun once in 60 years. The start of the year is a long springtime and at the end a harsh winter comes, the snow falling so heavily as to render the landscape a total white out.
There are snowghouls out there (which we never get to meet) and the mysterious Graal which, at the end of each year travel up from the south and invade the natives who form the focal point of the story. The people are divided into two groups; the natives (the hilfs) and the colonists from Earth (Farborn) who arrived at the planet aeons ago and are black skinned-not sure if that is meant to be significant but maybe it was some political statement from the 60s. When the Earth colonists first discovered the natives they named them HILF, an acronym of High Intelligent Life Form-it sounds very SF but the book is more like fantasy with magic and mindspeech rather than tech and telepathy.
It all sounds promising but her writing style in this book is somewhat clunky and odd in parts and the characters just not that interesting or engaging. Just not a lot happened really! This one will be going back on Bookmooch.
I have City of Illusions and Left Hand of Darkness on my shelf too-just hope things improve with those two.
STAN - Brian Aldiss
12 hours ago