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Helliconia Spring Unknown Binding – 1993


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Unknown Binding, 1993
$90.00

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Easton Press (1993)
  • ASIN: B001JKPMD0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,457,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The most complete & absorbing series of books I have ever read.
Dave Luke
It gives us a pretty good idea on how civilizations probably came to be on planet earth itself.
K Birdi
Aldiss has created a very interesting world but there is not much of a plot in this first book.
T. P. McArdle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Yuli is a child of a hunter-gatherer family living under the light of two suns on the northern plains of Campannlat on the frigid, ice-wrapped planet of Helliconia. When his father is enslaved by the vicious phagors, Yuli is left alone. He finds his way to the subterranean city of Pannoval, where he prospers as a member of the priesthood. Tiring of torturing heretics and punishing renegades, he elects to flee the oppressive city with some like-minded allies, eventually founding the settlement of Oldorando some distance away.

Fifty years later, Yuli's descendants have conquered a larger town, renaming it Oldorando as well, and are prospering. Game is becoming more plentiful, the river is thawing and warmer winds are rising, even as the smaller sun, Freyr, grows larger in the sky. But with peace and plenty comes indolence and corruption, and the people of Oldorando find themselves bickering and feuding for power, even as a great crusade of phagors leaves their icy homes in the eastern mountains on a quest to slaughter as many humans as possible.

The great drama of life on Helliconia is observed from an orbiting Earth space station, the Avernus, the crew of which watch as Helliconia and its sun, Batalix, draw closer to the great white supergiant about which they revolve and the centuries-long winter comes to a violent end.

Helliconia Spring (originally published in 1982) is the first volume in Brian Aldiss' masterpiece, The Helliconia Trilogy. In this work, Aldiss has constructed the supreme achievement of science fiction worldbuilding: Helliconia, a planet located in a binary star system a thousand light-years distant from Earth.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
The fact that this series is not in print is almost criminal, probably because Aldiss is British or something. But for those who haven't heard of perhaps the greatest science-fiction series ever to be written, the Heliconnia series was Aldiss' attempt at a world building on the scale of Dune, but at the same time using it to make a commentary on his feelings about current society. Lofty goals but the beauty of it is that it never feels like he's overextending himself, everything feels natural and the book never deviates from Aldiss' calm, almost Arthur Clarke like narration, though his use of metaphor is much better than the more hard science oriented Clarke. For those coming in late, Aldiss envisioned Heliconnia as a Earth like planet with one big difference, really really really long seasons. The planet takes about 2500 years to orbit so each generation effectively notices only one season. In the first book he shows the end of winter and the reawakening of civilization, a cycle that has gone by many times without anyone realizing it. In the beginning the book is almost standard Tolkein stuff, fantasy but just when you think that Aldiss has gone into sword and sorcery, it throws in a bit with Earth having set up an orbiting space station to watch the planet, reminding you that above all this is a science-fiction story. If you can find even one book of this series used, snap it up as fast as you can, or just swamp a publisher with requests to put it back into print. Like Moorcock's Cornelius series, this is one that deserves to be out there for everyone to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Luke on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Helliconia is a place I can almost SEE through the pages in my book. You begin to genuinely feel for the characters, as the storyline unfolds, we watch the main characters from above, often they lived hundreds of years apart: the Spring with makind living underground worshipping a mountain god & praying for the return of Freyr (the second sun) Summer & the emergence of Mankind's nations across the globe; the slow sink of mankind into barbarism in Winter as helliconia slides into another 500 year long freeze. The most complete & absorbing series of books I have ever read. It MUST return to print...please. A true classic to rival Tolkien and surpasses the Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By neoninfusion on August 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I finally bought this trilogy second-hand (as it is no longer in print in Australia) after noticing the enticing cover art of the 80's versions many times in used book stores. Have you heard the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover"? It applies here.
The general premise of the trilogy is interesting - Helliconia, a distant planet circling a binary star sytem is discovered by Earth-humans who set up a satellite space station to observe the day to day life of Helliconia's 'human' and Phagor inhabitants. The lifestyle of the Helliconian's is determined by the season in which their generation lives in, and the trilogy begins at the end of a 3000 year winter, where Phagors are dominant and humans subjective to them.
Despite this unique idea, the trilogy falls down in story-telling. The plot for "Spring" is weak, but improves in "Summer" and "Winter", and the characterisation is average - especially the female characters. Having said this, there is some thought-provoking commentary on our nature: in particular, sociology; conservation; religion; and warfare.
The Helliconia Trilogy has been compared to Dune by other reviewers, but I think this is unfair on Aldiss. The purpose of the series is not just to create a new world, but to provide us with an insight into human nature by comparing us to our contempories on this new world (which is not Frank Herbert's purpose in Dune). Accept each book for what it is.
Do I recommend the trilogy? Probably not. Why? I was hurrying to get through it. I found the commentary a bit trying towards the end of each book (it also interrupted the flow of the story) and so I started skipping through it without thinking, endeavouring to continue with the storyline - which wasn't very impressive.
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