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Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Title: Planet of Exile
  • Size PDF ver: 1496 kb
  • Size ePUB ver: 1215 kb
  • Size Fb2 ver: 1574 kb
  • ISBN: 0352306602
  • ISBN13: 978-0352306609
  • Pages: 128
  • Other formats: mbr doc azw lit
  • Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Subcat: Science Fiction
  • Language: English
  • Rating: 4.3 of 5
  • Votes: 317
  • Publisher: W. H. Allen; New Edition edition (1978)
  • Hardcover: Here
Planet of Exile

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The Earth colony of Landin has been stranded on Werel for ten years, and ten of Werel's years are over 600 terrestrial years, and the lonely and dwindling human settlement is beginning to feel the strain. Every winter, a season that lasts for 15 years, the Earthmen have neighbors: the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they think of as witches and call the farborns. But hilfs and farborns have common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals and eerie preying snow ghouls. Will they join forces or be annihilated?

Planet of Exile is the second in the Hainish Cycle series. (preceeded by Rocannon's World and followed by City of Illusions.)


Reviews num: (7)

Kegal
The story was slightly more complex and with a sprinkling more character development, as compared to Rocannon's World. The characters were less relatable however, which made the story difficult to digest. I'm only reading these first few books in the cycle so I can get to the Left Hand of Darkness and see what all the fuss is about. I would suggest to others to skip ahead to where you want to be...so far, the first 2 have been rather standalone.
Agrainel
This short book offers a glimpse on yet another, fascinating world create by Le Guin, in her unique SF/Fantasy style. The story is well-designed, the setting is beautiful, the characters are full of flesh. I loved it!
Sharpbringer
Good book
Rollers from Abdun
not her best novel by far
unmasked
Originally posted at FanLit.

Planet of Exile is a novel in Ursula Le Guin's HAINISH CYCLE and one of the author's first published books. In this story, a colony of humans has been stranded for many years on the planet Werel, which has such a long orbit around its sun that one year is like 60 Earth years. These humans, gently led by Jakob Agat, live in a city surrounded by a stone wall. Because of the conditions on Werel, especially the effect of its sun's radiation on human genes, their colony is dwindling. The humans share the planet with two other humanoid species. They have no contact with the Gaal, a nomadic tribe, and they have a tense but sometimes cooperative relationship with the Tevarans.

The planet is moving into its harsh winter phase, which will last about 15 years. Usually when this happens the nomadic Gaal pass by the human city on their way south. But this year there is a rumor that the Gaal do not plan to migrate, but rather to conquer the humans and Tevarans and take their cities for themselves. Jakob Agat hopes the humans and Tevarans can set aside their differences and suspicions and work together to defeat the Gaal. But when he falls in love with Rolery, granddaughter of the Tevaran leader, tensions flare.

If you're familiar with Ursula Le Guin's work, I recommend reading Planet of Exile -- it's interesting to see how this excellent writer got her start. However, if you're new to Le Guin, don't start here. Her later work is so much better. In Planet of Exile, her world-building and character development has already improved from what we saw in Rocannon's World, the first of the HAINISH CYCLE books, but it still lacks the vividness of her later works. For example, Jakob's and Rolery's love-at-first-sight relationship has no substance to it. I never felt it and wasn't convinced that Jakob and Rolery felt it either.

Perhaps this is because Le Guin's main interest in these HAINISH novels isn't to tell a love story, but to use science fiction to explore cultural anthropological themes. This is something that she also does better in later novels. Here, as in Rocannon's World, her races and cultures seem too unnaturally distinct and isolated to be living so close together on the same planet.

I have to say that if Planet of Exile wasn't written by Ursula Le Guin, I probably wouldn't recommend it at all, but I love Le Guin's prose and I find it fascinating to compare her earlier and later works. I think that most of her fans will feel the same way. Planet of Exile is short and simple -- an easy read. Again, if you're not a fan yet, don't start here; I suggest starting with THE EARTHSEA CYCLE or ANNALS OF THE WESTERN SHORE.

I listened to Blackstone Audio's version read by the excellent Steven Hoye and Carrington MacDuffie. This was a very nice production. All of the HAINISH CYCLE books are available on audio. Each of them can stand alone, so you don't have to read them in any particular order, but Planet of Exile acts as a prequel to City of Illusions. I'll be reading that one soon.

Planet of Exile -- (1966) The Earth colony of Landin has been stranded on Werel for ten years, and ten of Werel's years are over 600 terrestrial years, and the lonely and dwindling human settlement is beginning to feel the strain. Every winter, a season that lasts for 15 years, the Earthmen have neighbors: the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they think of as witches and call the farborns. But hilfs and farborns have common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals and eerie preying snow ghouls. Will they join forces or be annihilated?
lubov
As a long winter approaches, outsiders threaten both of the planet's human civilizations, native and offworld immigrant. Lifecycle-long years and established offworld settlers combine to create a speculative premise that informs every aspect of the book: worldbuilding, social structure, point of view, plot, resolution; and while that last is too neat, it's just so satisfying to see concise worldbuilding with significant ramifications. The character dynamics operated within that are nearly absent, certainly underwritten (which I suspect is exacerbated by audio narration, Hoye's in particular). But Le Guin's voice, powerful and sparse and precise, carefully balancing organic daily detail against larger speculative elements, is a sheer delight and offset other weaknesses. I see flaws here, but they don't particularly bother me; this is just what I wanted it to be.
Marilace
Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin

One of the foremost "what if" scenario's of traditional science fiction stories concerns human outposts on other planets and how they relate with native inhabitants who are technologically undeveloped. Le Guin walks us at a deliberately measured pace as we become acquainted with a settlement of star-traveling humans abruptly left behind as a result of a galaxy wide conflict and with the native inhabitants who regard the space travelers with a mixture of awe and fear. The author eschews employing the toys of an advanced civilization to resolve conflicts but focuses the story on rituals and relationships. If you are acquainted with Ms. Le Guin's illustrious career you can certainly see themes carried forward in many of her subsequent stories. This is as intelligently written and as logically thought out a science fiction novel as you may ever encounter.

While the paramount dramatic incidents that motivate "Planet of Exile" were resolved in the book as written there remained numerous issues raised which this curious reader desired the author had perused in additional chapters of this or in another volume. Two issues particularly peeked my interest; the enemy was barely held off as The long Winter commenced and would return in the Spring, 15 or so years hence, with massive forces and patience for a prolonged siege. How would they be repulsed with the depleted population? Also, did the human male and the native girl have children and how about ESP issues? If the story were not so interesting, in a science-fictional vein or so plausible I would not be yearning after all these years for more. I suppose at this point Ms. Le Guin has no interest revisiting a minor story she wrote a half century ago - but if I ever caught up with her I would ask her about it!

The novel "Planet of Exile" (1966) was first published as an Ace paperback in October 1966 and is among her 1st published novels. Another of her novels "Rocannon's World" was also published in 1966.

Four stars, an excellent story and a recommended book but not as "good" as some of her other titles - those receive 5 stars in my estimation.

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