Helliconia: Helliconia Spring, Helliconia Summer, Helliconia Winter: "Hellonica Spring", "Helliconia Summer", "Helliconia Winter" (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 12 Aug 2010
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Surprisingly engaging ... very much recommended. (SFF World)
A vast world where the seasons last tens of thousands of years - the classic SF epic of worldbuilding.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I did read them back in the 1980's when they were released as three separate books: Helliconia Spring, Helliconia Summer and Helliconia Winter, in 1982, 1983 and 1985 respectively. Hereafter I'm going to see them as one book, which is for all intents and purposes is how they read, as a uniform body of work (albeit in three parts.)
At the time of original writing they were a surprise, if I remember right. Here was a writer known for his SF writing (Hothouse, Greybeard, Report on Probability A, etc) writing what seemed (at first) to be a fantasy.
And if I remember right, a glacially slow series. Which made them a little disappointing.
However, there is an SF element to the books. For those who don't know, Helliconia is a planet. The tales are told from the perspective of the inhabitants as they go through the world's seasons. The twist in the tale here is that the seasons are very long: centuries long, long enough for species to live and die within one season, and especially in the long, cruel, bitter winters.
As the tale unfolds the perspective is drawn further back to the point where we realise that all that is being told is actually part of a planetary research report from the Earth ship Avernus. It is here that the reader discovers that, as part of a binary star system, all / most life on Helliconia will be extinguished. Much of the books are spent in the debate over whether Humans should interfere with the rise and fall of civilisations on the planet, which is an interesting counterpoint to what goes on in the research ship and on Earth.Read more ›
Above all for me the books are about the context within which we and the characters live in. Helliconia's extremes means its peoples have to navigate a perilous course over generation upon generation with many setbacks. Most helliconians cannot see the context within which they live, just the consequences of the enormous forces at work. In contrast the humans that observe helliconia, do so from a serile technological world that never changes; they live within no context at all. These two themes
mend there way through much of the books. Though there's much more here for all sorts of readers.
Helliconia is a work of imagination and ideas. The very things I need from reading. Its almost the perfect Scifi paradigm, in comparison much modern scifi is just cowboys and indians in space or indeed therapists on starships.
Highly recommended.for a nice long read..
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not know that there was this omnibus edition... Excellent. Hard school SciFi but very worth it.Published 7 months ago by Mr. A. Healy
I remember reading these (originally 3 books) when they were originally published (when I was a teenager) and being utterly absorbed into the world of Helliconia. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Patrick E. Mason
It's an admirable attempt in one sense, and a badly thought through idea ultimately. The idea of writing the history of a civilisation is fascinating, but history is history, and a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kublai
This trilogy is so well researched that it could have become no more than an academic treatise of what-could-be. Fortunately this didn't happen. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Shirley
I love this book and have several editions of it. I like this one because it's all 3 books in one thick paperback that I hope will impress my friends.Published 15 months ago by Max Pynchon