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Helliconia Summer (Helliconia Trilogy) Paperback – July 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Helliconia Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: I Books (July 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743445104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743445108
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,471,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on March 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Continuing his very successful (critcally at least I have no idea how well it sold, though the book trumpets that it's an "international best seller") Helliconia series about a planet with a two thousand year long revolution and two hundred year seasons (give or take), he expands and clarifies all the stuff that happened in the first book, which you don't even need to read to understand. So much time has passed since the first book that everything that happened is mostly the stuff of distorted legend if they even remember it at all. This time around he chooses to focus on one group of people over a period of maybe ten years or so instead of the massive scope of the first book and he proves he can pull off both with ease. Court intrigue, suspense, the slow heating of the planet amidst the politics of the planet, it's all there. And just so you remember that Aldiss is a science-fiction writer, he expands on the notion of Earth watching the planet and shows that they'll have more of a role in the series than you would expect. All in all, incredibly detailed planetbuilding by someone not normally known for that sort of stuff, this is the type of book that people label a "classic" and for good reason. Everything works, even the plot technique of showing us the aftermath of something and then bouncing back in the narrative to show us what happened before (and they passing it at some point, it can get confusing if you're not paying attention) works. Even with the heat and whatnot, Helliconia becomes a place you want to live. I know I do. Criminally this book is out of print, something that should be recitified by someone (listening publishers, this series should not only be available in Britian!) but if you ever find it used, snap it up, it might be hard to find but definitely worth the time spent searching for it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matko Vladanovic on April 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have already stated somewhere my disgust over the translation of this book that is avaliable in my country, better to say of the translation of the volume one. The volume two didn't get any better in that sence.

But that is beside the point. As much as I enjoyed Helliconia Spring, finding myself able to feel on the top of the planet surface which was torchured by the immense cold climate and hostile enviroment, I have found something lacking in the Summer part of trilogy.

Summer part much resembles Renaissance and the birth of the modern age on our planet and in our own history. Struggle between dogma and numerous religions, scientific approach and exploration mixed with political struggle of all kinds, all of that seems much to familiar, and in sa sense, boring.

It is not that I do not enjoy history, and that I cannot perceive weird and almost twisted loggic (or better to say illogic) behind it all, but problem can be placed in an inadequate, lets call it, effort from the side of the author, who felt much more confident in rewriting and adapting humankind history than to create one of his own.

It is still amazingly interesting (and fun) book, but for me it lacked that feeling of new world being created in front of my eyes. Thus the four stars though I am aware that that rate is of questionable value.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brett on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Helliconia Summer" is the second book in Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Trilogy, a story about the evolution of a human society upon a harsh world beset by centuries' long "Great Seasons". It is a solid entry, but fails to quite live up to the standard set by "Helliconia Spring".

"Helliconia Summer" is set in the flowering of human civilization - the point when the planet Helliconia is nearing the closest point it gets to the more prominent of its two suns. It is a period of renaissance and technological advancement for Helliconian humanity, but also one of conflict, both with each other and with the ancient inhabitants of the planet - the minotaur-like Phagors. In this setting, Aldiss sets the story of the trials and travails of King JandolAnganol of Borlien, as he attempts to secure his position and nation amidst the politics of Helliconia.

This book is very different from its predecessor, in two primary ways. Whereas "Helliconia Spring" was largely a narrative of the development of humanity as Spring occurred, and featured succeeding generations of human characters, "Helliconia Summer" takes place over a much more limited period of time, and focuses largely on the same cast for most of the novel. This creates a fairly rich plot in terms of character development, but loses some of the unique exploration of the setting that was such a major part of "Helliconia Spring".

Unfortunately, the second difference does not work well. "Helliconia Summer" has a rather bizarre chronological structure, with events near the beginning, followed by a series of disconnected flashbacks. The result is incoherent and irritating to try and puzzle out, and came across as highly unnecessary.

If you are seeking more exploration of the world itself, then you're in for a bit of disappointment. If, however, you are looking for a good story and characters in Aldiss's setting, then this book will be a good, but not great, read for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on June 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Helliconia basks in the glow of the Great Summer. The continent of Campannlat is now dominated by the Holy Empire, a loose religious affiliation between the three great kingdoms of Pannoval, Oldorando and Borlien. These nations find themselves threatened by the far less technologically-advanced but considerably more populous jungle and desert nations to the west and the even more savage tribes to the east. When King JandolAnganol suffers a humiliating defeat to tribesmen using firearms (bought at great cost from the progressive nations of Sibornal far to the north), he divorces his wife so he might seek a more favourable alliance by marrying a princess of Oldorando. However, the queen is a greatly popular figure in Borlien and by divorcing her the king enrages the native population, triggering political turmoil and military action that will have great ramifications for all of Helliconia.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Earth Observation Station Avernus have fallen into internal dissent and debate over the nature of reality and their own orders from distant Earth not to interfere with life on Helliconia. Rejecting this order from a world they can never see or return to, the crew hold a lottery with a grand prize: to allow the winner to visit Helliconia, so for the brief few months it will take for the planet's viruses and bacteria to kill him he can live under a real sky. The arrival of Billy Xiao Pin in Borlien's capital likewise triggers events that will have unforeseen consequences.

Helliconia Summer picks up the story of the world of Helliconia some 355 local years - more than 500 Earth years - after the conclusion of Helliconia Spring.
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