Read Helliconia Spring by Brian W. Aldiss Online

helliconia-spring

A planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter. Helliconia is emerging from its centuries-long winter. The tribes of the equatorial continent emerge from their hiding places and are again able to dispute possession of tA planet orbiting binary suns, Helliconia has a Great Year spanning three millennia of Earth time: cultures are born in spring, flourish in summer, then die with the onset of the generations-long winter. Helliconia is emerging from its centuries-long winter. The tribes of the equatorial continent emerge from their hiding places and are again able to dispute possession of the planet with the ferocious phagors. In Oldorando, love, trade and coinage are being redisovered,This is the first volume of the Helliconia Trilogy -- a monumental saga that goes beyond anything yet created by this master among today's imaginative writers....

Title : Helliconia Spring
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743444729
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Helliconia Spring Reviews

  • Charles Dee Mitchell
    2019-01-02 17:11

    I guess I am joining the chorus of voices who express frustration if not outright disappointment with this book. Aldiss has written several sf novels that are among my favorites -- Hot House, Greybeard, The Dark Light Years -- and I was looking forward to this trilogy. But as other reviewers tend to point out, if you glance at the reader responses to all three books, the number or respondents drops book by book. Helliconia Spring, although it certainly has its fans, I found to be pretty rough going.Aldiss has meticulously imagined his Ice Age world facing the coming of a thaw that occurs only every 1000 years or so. The planet Helliconia is part of a binary star system. It's short year around Batalix is 400 plus days, but Batalix carries Helliconia with it in orbit around Freyr in a year the equivalent of 2592 earth years. Few Helliconians ever witness a change of season, and those changes are so separated in time that knowledge of them and their consequences is either lost or the subject of legend. The coming of Spring causes some forces in Olderando, the novel's main setting, to entrench themselves in old ways while others, especially a group of women, throw themselves into the pursuit of knowledge that will make sense of their changing world. That world is threatened by Phagors, creatures like mean Chewbaccas that are primordial enemies of humans, the societal changes that increased population and mobility bring, and a virus activated by the warming climate. Scientists from Earth survey these changes from an orbiting space station called the Avernus. (Why is this space station named after the entry to the underworld from Roman mythology?) I was curious to know more about what was going on with the Earth scientists, but I did not wish another 100 pages added to this already long novel. But Aldiss uses their presence to establish with one elegant scene just what a "long game" he is playing. The Avernus has orbited Helliconia for centuries if not longer. Technology on the ship allows the observers to follow in detail the developments among the various races and even particular people on the planet. They beam them back to earth, and these broadcasts are watched by millions is specially built theaters. But because of the time involved in sending the broadcasts, this futuristic form of reality TV takes place a thousand years after the events themselves. The long dead broadcasters and protagonists are entertaining multitudes who were centuries away from existence when these event took place. Aldiss is concerned with storytelling on a cosmic scale.If only the story was a bit more engaging. The characters' fates are sealed by the climactic changes they cannot comprehend. I am not inclined to pick up another 400 page book to witness what I can only imagine will be approximately the same fate unfurl for a new set of Helliconians.

  • Simon
    2019-01-07 23:24

    This series proves Aldiss' ability at world building and that he's not just good at writing short stories and novella's. Throughout this series (and even this book) characters come and go but the real story is that of the Planet Helliconia itself as the annual cycle of life is followed through from Spring to Winter. That's a larger prospect than it sounds given that one Helliconian year is equivillent to 2500 Earth years.Human civillization rises and falls in the space of a Helliconian year when the monsterous Phagors become the dominant species during the winter. Observers from Earth watch silently from above in an orbital space station, forbidden from interfering for their own safety because of their vulnerability to the viruses that they have no immunity to. Slowly thoughtout the series the way the life cycles of the variety of life forms on the planet interact in a symbiotic way to assure their mutual survival is revealed. Nature imposes a harsh but necessary routine upon the inhabitants of Helliconia.This really is a masterpiece but it is slow going and one must be prepared to realise that the characters are not the central focus of the books.

  • Rob
    2019-01-07 18:34

    Executive Summary: There were times where I enjoyed this book, but they were few and far between. Just not enough for me to like overall.Full ReviewIf you look at how long it took me to read this fairly short book (26 days) and how many multiple day gaps I often went between reading it, it should be no real surprise I gave this 2 stars.I found the prologue long and pretty boring, and it might be the most character development of the entire book. Unfortunately after the prologue that character no longer appears.I found most of the characters pretty unlikeable. That always makes it harder for me to enjoy a book. I did find the development of the town pretty interesting, especially the technological innovations that came along.The world building was interesting, but a bit too hard sci-fi for my liking. My eyes kind of glazed over when he'd get into scientific observations about Helliconia.Overall, this book just wasn't for me, and despite buying the entire trilogy, I won't be continuing on to see what happens next.

  • Daniel Roy
    2019-01-15 16:30

    The Helliconia cycle is a SF trilogy with a planet as its main character. Yes, it's that epic and mind-boggling in scale. Heck, the prologue to the entire trilogy is a 100-page unbroken chapter.Helliconia Spring, the first of three novels in the cycle, tells the tale of a small human community as Spring comes to a world whose year lasts long enough for civilizations to rise and fall.It goes without saying that the main feature of Aldiss' novel is his incredible world-building. In the Helliconia cycle, he not only introduces three competing civilizations, but a rich and unique ecology that encompasses animals, plants, even parasites and viruses that are uniquely suited to this world's peculiar climate. The whole is told with meticulous detail, and a portrait of a unique system in delicate balance emerges, with the two main sentient species, humans and phagors, waxing and waning with the seasons.The bulk of Helliconia Spring tells the tale of a small village at the critical point when the long winter finally breaks and spring arrives to the world. Humans, pushed to the brink of savagery by the long winter and the ascendance of phagors, slowly emerge from their hiding places, and their civilization begins to flourish again. The events in Helliconia Spring cover a mere generation, which makes for a more intimate chronicle of humanity at a turning point. I have to say, I liked a lot of the themes and characters covered here. Given the incredible ambition of the world-building, it would have been easy to lose the characters in the backdrop. That does happen, but not as much as I expected.The most interesting conflict in the book is between the men, who want unity and respect of tradition, and the women, who want to seek knowledge and better their condition. This tension is raised a few notches by the deep transformations happening the world over, making this choice of dramatic scale an illuminating one. I liked the women's struggle for independence and knowledge, faced with men who love them, but who believe that the proper way to love a woman is to possess her. The fact that they all belong to the same community, and ultimately feel for one another, makes the conflict even more gripping.Ultimately, that tension fails to coalesce as the changes overcoming Helliconia take center stage. That desire to illustrate the transformations of the world, and the waxing of human influence, ends up diluting the dramatic arc. As much as I liked to read how humans were returning to a time of plenty after generations of hardships, I have a hard time believing that a handful of men and women rediscovered astronomy, heliocentric theory, currency-based economy, masonry, and horseback riding, within the span of a single generation. Perhaps real-life discussions on anthropology, such as Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies have spoiled my ability to suspend disbelief in that matter.I also feel that the main purpose of the book, to showcase the transformations happening in human civilization, may have been better served by the approach showcased in The Years of Rice and Salt, where we get periodic glimpses of individual stories throughout history. On the whole, the human stories get lost in the overall chaos of the world, especially considering that the sequel, Helliconia Summer, jumps ahead a few centuries.The prose was engaging for the most part, with some clumsy parts. Some adverbs made me cringe. (Worst offender: "he said chantingly".) But for the most part, the descriptions were crisp, and the characters were well-rounded and interesting.A strange concept featured in the novel is the human space station, orbiting above Helliconia, and studying the events happening on the surface in detail. That was a strange choice, and although I suspect it plays its part in subsequent novels, it was merely an odd framing device in this one. It's as if Aldiss was afraid we'd mistake his story for fantasy, and wanted to root it deeply in science fiction by throwing around references to space stations and scientific observations.All in all, Helliconia Spring was a fascinating, if flawed read. I suspect the book should be considered only a part of an overall and self-contained story, but I'm not particularly attracted to the remaining novels. But that being said, I do come away fascinated and impressed by Aldiss' world-building skills. They are thorough and fascinating.

  • Manny
    2018-12-22 19:15

    The idea is nice - supposing a year was a thousand times as long? But I found the book a bit too slow, and got bored. I finished it, but never read Summer and Winter.

  • AndrewP
    2019-01-17 23:07

    Getting into this book was somewhat of a slog. If I didn't know the pretense of the book I think I would have abandoned it early on, but the idea of a planet trapped in a binary star system was intriguing enough for me to keep going. (Hint to future readers: If you don't know Kepler's Laws of motion look them up, it explains an awful lot.)The story follows a couple of generations of humans, trying to survive as their world begins to warm up. Not much happens so don't expect a lot from the plot. It's all about the environment and that's where I have my doubts. All of the main events happen within a single generation and I find the time scale a bit suspect. It's hard to believe that over a 'long year' of some 2,500 years the end of the ice age would be noticeable within a single person lifetime. But in this book that effectively what happened.I will probably read the following two volumes sometime in the future but not right now.

  • Wayne McCoy
    2019-01-17 00:33

    'Helliconia Spring' by Brian W. Aldiss was a recent pick by my book club, chosen after the author recently died.The book is about a planet that orbits binary stars. It has a very long orbital year, which has strange effects on the inhabitants of the planet. At the start of this book, the planet is coming out of a winter cycle and moving slowly into spring. There are dominant life forms that start to struggle. There are cyclical plagues that thin and change the humanoid populations. Civilizations rise, fall, and change.I struggled to read this book until I changed my perceptions. While there are characters in the book, this is not a character driven story. It is an environment driven story. It was tough to get through while I tried to find characters to latch on to, but it got better when I started to view the larger picture. The appendixes in the version I read are definitely things I should have looked at earlier in my reading of this novel. I ultimately enjoyed reading it, but it felt like a struggle to read.

  • Ethan
    2019-01-03 19:29

    I bought this book five years ago, since it sounds like a really interesting idea and has neat cover art. I read about 20 pages, and put it down due to lack of interest. I recently picked it up again and finished it, but found myself pushing through most of it. It gets a little better than the prologue, but I just didn't care too much about the people of Oldorando (or even keep them straight, since their names all sound the same). A few chapters could've adequately told the story that takes several hundred here. It would be nice to know more about the Earth Station that's observing the planet, since they seemed a lot more interesting than any of the inhabitants of Helliconia. I'm all for blending genres, but this particular blend (almost Conan-style fantasy mixed with splashes of hard sci-fi), just doesn't work very well. It will be a long time, if ever, before I pick up the second volume.

  • Dave Packard
    2018-12-31 20:33

    One star because I was actually able to finish it, and one star for the cool idea. I loved the science and the background information, I hated the “story” and found myself practically napping through most of it.

  • Nicolas
    2018-12-31 00:26

    J'ai lu ce livre il y a bien longtemps ... Tellement longtemps, en fait que je ne me souviens plus de la date, ou même de l'année, où je l'ai lu ... Mais tout ça n'a pas grand chose à voir avec ce roman. J'ai donc choisi de le relire à un moment où mon stock personnel de nouveautés s'était épuisé.Le printemps d'Helliconia raconte donc le dégel d'un monde dont les années durent des dizaines de nos siècles, ce qui laisse le temps aux plantes de s'adapter à chacune de ces saisons, et aux êtres vivants d'oublier ce que les précédentes saisons ont pu être.On assiste donc à l'émerveillement des hommes et femmes qui vivent ce dégel comme une nouveauté, en oubliant que l'hiver ne fait que s'arrêter.En soi l'idée est assez belle. Seulement j'ai l'impression qu'Aldiss a voulu aborder trop de thèmes simultanément, ce qui nuit pour moi à la beauté de cette oeuvre (qui pourtant est très loin de manquer de qualités). Tenez, par exemple, il essaye de traiter en même temps la différence entre deux espèces (humains et phagors), le fait religieux (Wuttra et Wahka) , la géologie, l'évolution des espèces et peut-être une dizaine d'autres sujets. Ce qui donne au final des digressions parfois assez pénibles. Voire même des attentes curieuses de la part du lecteur que je suis. Je vais vous donner un exemple.Pendant tout le bouquin, Aldiss utilise un schéma assez clair : un humain découvre un fait nouveau dans un endroit qu'il croyait connaître, et Aldiss en profite pour nous présenter l'animal, ou la plante, ainsi que ses adaptations vis-à-vis de l'étrange saisonalité d'Helliconia. Le truc curieux, c'est que ça ne dérange manifestement pas l'auteur de s'arrêter au beau milieu d'une scène d'action pour nous décrire par le menu les plissements géologiques qui accompagnent le réchauffement climatique de la planète. Ce qui fait qu'à la fin du roman, on est toujours prêt à ce que n'ilmporte quelle scène dérive en une description du panthéon phagor aggrémentée de considérations sur le régime alimentaire de leurs montures et son impact sur la polinisation des algues sous-marines. Et à cette même fin du roman, dans une scène de retour à la maison assez pathétique, l'auteur nous explique que la défécation de l'étrange monture du héros sera utilisée par un bousier ... A ce moment-là, j'ai été *déçu* qu'il ne nous explique pas la constructionf ractale des terriers de bousiers. Je crois qu'en fait, dans ce roman, Aldiss a voulu pousser à son extrême certaines méthodes de description d'univers SF décrites sur Génération Science-Fiction dans les articles de Claude Ecken (qui sont tout bonnement fabuleux).Bon, je ne devrais pas bouder non plus mon plaisir, parce qu'à part ça, ce roman n'est rien d'autre qu'une assez plate chronique de l'âge de bronze, où on invente la monnaie, et où une brave dame découvre la mécanique céleste et constate que la cour de ferme qui leur sert de monde n'est rien qu'une petite planète perdue dans un complexe système binaire. Et d'ailleurs, je ne boude pas mon plaisir puisque j'ai trouvé certains éléments de ce premier récit assez intéressants, voire même fascinants, comme par exemple tout cet écosystème qui à mon avis ne tient pas debout biologiquement parlant, mais qui a malgré tout un charme certain.J'ai donc pris un certain plaisir en relisant ce livre, entaché des défauts signalés ci-dessus et d'une écriture largement plus antique que celle d'un Brunner largement plus vieux ou, pour prendre un genre plus raisonnablement proche, d'un Moorcock qui a pour lui l'avantage de dépeindre les aventures du champion éternel.Bref, c'est un peu mou, plutôt daté, mais néanmoins intéressant grâce à un monde d'une grande beauté formelle, et des personnages qui ont quand même une sacré personnalité (Aoz Roon et Shay Tal en tête).

  • Barry
    2018-12-30 18:09

    This book didn't really work for me. As other reviewers have pointed out the central character of this book is the planet of Hellliconia and when a planet is the focus of the novel then the resulting work is often epic in nature.This is my first reading of Aldiss and I can't help thinking that if I had read other works of his I may appreciate this more. In Helliconia Spring Aldiss attempts a lot. The planet of Helliconia is in a binary system where it orbits one sun Batalix every four hundred days or so and another larger, older sun Freyr every 2,500 years or so. The upshot of this is that the seasons on Helliconia last hundreds of years and inhabitants of the planet have no comprehension of the changing of the seasons.In this novel the inhabitants of a hunter-gatherer society are part of the transition between a seemingly endless Winter and a new Spring. The novel focuses primarily on the inhabitants of a village called Oldorando and its changes as it grows and it's society learns and develops. The characters however are mostly uninteresting and have few redeeming qualities. What we seem to have here for large sections of the novel are power struggles within the village and it's grasp of new society.Other reviewers have commented on the implausibility of a society discovering money, astrology and great engineering projects in the space of a generation or two - coming from a basic hunter / gatherer society. This burst of knowledge didn't annoy me that much although I can see how it may to others.A key theme is the battle between women in the village and their thirst for knowledge and the men who think the best way they can express their care is by taking them for 'their woman'. This is quite an interesting aspect to the novel but suffers from many of the other themes in the book. So much is in there that nothing really takes centre stage.The same could be said about the war between humans and the phagors - a race that has developed on the planet independently. In Autumn and Winter the phagors are in ascendancy and in Spring and Summer the humans are. We've war, phagors treated as gods and slavery of both phagors and humans and strange 'human-like' species. Add to that pandemic virus's and there is absolutely lots going on.The issue with the book is that it takes so long for Aldiss to get anywhere. The characters are uninteresting (and their lives are often ceased in a sentence). There is so much backstory and 'telling' of what is going on quite often the book is just boring. Aldiss takes forever to get anywhere. There is a 100 page prologue at the start of the book and if the book had ended there I would have been relieved! The saving grace for me is that I got slightly more interested in the characters towards the end. A great idea and some great world building but missing something in execution.

  • Alissa Thorne
    2018-12-24 23:30

    I get what this book was going for. It told the story of a civilization developing under the influence of planarity forces. By telling it through the eyes of the primitive peoples it aimed to achieve a kind of biblical scope. Well it was successful in one sense--it was about as much fun to read as the bible. The storytelling will spend years with a particular character, dwelling on one characters boring and brutal little life then unceremoniously flit past their demise and jump generations into the future. I think this was an attempt at giving the work an epic feel, but instead it lost my interest.I regret sticking this one out to the end. I kept expecting it to bring it all together to make the tedious effort of watching these savages painstakingly crawl through towards civilization have some kind of grand meaning. Perhaps that's in the next book, but I'll pass, thanks.

  • Tsedai
    2018-12-27 23:27

    The bits about Earth were interesting. The rest, not so much. I tried. I tried really hard. But I just couldn't enjoy this book.

  • Metaphorosis
    2019-01-02 19:31

    Metaphorosis Reviews2 starsA world in a binary stellar system has a complex orbit with long periods of heat and cold. Inhabited by humans, near-humans, and other species, its population re-discovers science as it emerges from each long ice age - all watched by a human orbital station that shares its findings with distant Earth.There's a strong similarity among Jack Vance, Robert Silverberg, and Brian Aldiss. They all use formal, sometimes stiff, language, and all describe odd, extreme characters and behaviour. Yet I'm a huge fan of Vance, lukewarm about Silverberg, and find that I don't much care for Aldiss.I've always accepted of Aldiss as one of the masters of the field, and for many years didn't realize how little his books had actually affected me. It wasn't until I read and heartily disliked Finches of Mars that it really hit home. So, when the chance came up to read the Helliconia trilogy, I decided to make it a definitive test. Based on book one, Aldiss fails.The characters have little depth, and no real spark, and not solely because the book covers long time periods. Aldiss seems constantly to forget that we're looking for story here, not just scholarship. It is interesting to see the balance of powers shift as the world emerges from the ice, and to see Aldiss' careful delineation of economic, spiritual, and scientific development - but it's only intellectually interesting. Only rarely did I find my emotions involved, my interest truly engaged by any of the players. While there's a lot to work with here - especially relations between humans (an emerging power) and phagors (who prefer the cold), but to Aldiss they seem to be little more than fodder for his intellectual treatise. He creates some strong characters, but then does little with them.Altogether, I found the book very slow going. The dense socioeconomic exploration got in the way of story, and the cold characters impeded the flow of the thought experiment. In this first book, at least, Aldiss' great experiment is not a success.

  • Stephen Richter
    2019-01-09 21:23

    The wiki summary of the book made it a story I was looking forward to reading, but the writing style used to tell the story failed.

  • Mawgojzeta
    2019-01-14 21:24

    Simon Maynard said it best in his review (Apr 16, 2009), so I will only say:Go into the book (trilogy) expecting the largeness of this tale. Any other mindset will take away from a brilliant world that has been created.

  • Mbgile
    2018-12-30 16:11

    navučena trojka, idem dalje pa da vidimo kako će završiti

  • Luca De Rosa
    2019-01-09 21:35

    This book literally captured me. Its exquisite world building, the atmosphere and everything. They lure you into a trap. There is way too much unneeded stuff in there, characters I cannot relate to, facts not to be cared about.So the last 200 went, slowly, towards an end I was craving, the end of nothing it appears, but at least, the end of the book.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2018-12-30 16:29

    Originally published on my blog here in May 2002.The Helliconia trilogy has an immense theme. In the eighties, one of Aldiss' interests was the rise and fall of civilization; his previous novel to Helliconia Spring, Life In The West, is about the decline of our own. As his introductory note here says, Aldiss was not completely happy with the way that it turned out, and so he produced the Helliconia trilogy, taking the theme and exploring it within a science fictional context, in the genre in which he had originally made his name.Because of the way in which the background of the story can be tailored to whatever specification is desired, science fiction provides an ideal way to emphasise the things an author has to say about such a theme. In fact, there is of course already a considerable subgenre devoted to the fall and rise of civilisation, the post-apocalyptic story. (This body of precedent may have been a reason for Aldiss' original attempt to explore the theme outside the genre.)The background he sets up is a planetary system which induces a regular cycle of barbarism and sophistication; part of a double star system, a massive long "year" of millennia is superimposed on the usual seasons, bringing regular and bitter ice ages. (The resulting scenario is very similar to Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky, though that is the result of different astronomy.) In this first novel, then, humans begin to rise from savagery as the barely survivable ice age begins to thaw; Aldiss follows the history of the descendants of a particular individual, a man who challenges the ancient gods.Aldiss gives extra force to events by introducing a second intelligent species to Helliconia, the phagors. They play surprisingly little part in Helliconia Spring, which concentrates on the emergence of a particular group of people from a shamanistic hunter-gatherer culture over several generations.Something that Helliconia Spring has going for it is Aldiss' reversal of the ideas of spiritualism. It is possible for Helliconians to communicate with their dead ancestors, but this is unrewarding as they have been reduced to pure expressions of negative violent emotion: anger, spite and hatred. This is a real - and much more believable - contrast to the cosy optimism of real world spiritualists that the dead become more benevolent.As far as it goes, Helliconia is an imaginative setting, but some of the details Aldiss adds detract from the effectiveness of the trilogy, at least as far as I am concerned. Unknown to the inhabitants of Helliconia, a satellite orbits the planet. From there, a colony of earth humans beams back the story of events on Helliconia to their original home, a huge piece of "reality TV" style entertainment. This is a plot strand which becomes important later on in the trilogy, but it diminishes the impact of the first hand narrative of Yuli and his descendants, trivialising it, even if it is on a scale undreamt of by the producers of "docusoaps" and the like. (It also, of course, pre-dates the concepts of these programmes by some years.) It makes Helliconia seem to be some kind of giant experiment, a feeling heightened by having human beings at the centre of the story - this would have probably passed without analysis as a commonplace of the genre if they had been placed on Helliconia by themselves and if they were not the subject of this surveillance, particularly if the only reason the reader is given for thinking of them as human is in identifying with their concerns.More immediately of concern to a reader, Helliconia Spring is not Aldiss' most immediately successful piece of characterisation. To portray a theme which spans generations does of course make this difficult anyway, and the world portrayed in this novel is more alien than its successors (unless you live in Siberia). Concentrating on the outsider, on those who bring about change, means that this flaw is highlighted at the expense of the interest provided by the immediate backgrounds, the strange troglodyte culture surrounding Yuli, or the village on the verge of the Neolithic revolution inhabited by his great-grandchildren. The enormous scale of the undertaking fires the imagination, and this reader at least wants more than Aldiss provides. On the other hand, it is this scale which makes the Helliconia trilogy one of the most memorable pieces of science fiction of the eighties; still great despite its flaws.

  • Rafal Jasinski
    2019-01-06 20:33

    Niezwykle klimatyczna opowieść, ponownie - jak u w przypadku "Cieplarni" - z pogranicza science-fiction i fantasy, , jednakowoż, ze wskazaniem na ten drugi gatunek. Całość utrzymana w stylu, przywodzącym na myśl wikińskie sagi, natomiast sposobem prowadzenia bohaterów i narracji, niejednokrotnie kojarząca się z "Filarami Ziemi" Kena Folletta. Los postaci i zwroty akcji częstokroć zaskakują a meandry fabuły co rusz kluczą kompletnie nieprzewidywalnymi torami.Znakomitym zabiegiem jest wprowadzenie ustawienie "na poboczu" fabuły "obserwatora", który tłumaczy wydarzenia rozgrywające się na Helikonii z naukowego punktu widzenia. Nie chcąc wiele zdradzać, nie napiszę więcej - tyle tylko, że jest to posunięcie w swej prostocie znakomite, i świetnie wypada zestawienie quasi-średniowiecznej kultury i wierzeń mieszkańców tego świata, z naukowym "objaśniaczem" zachodzących na Helikonii gigantycznych przemian.Minusem jest jedynie to, że akcja pierwszego tomu cyklu, zostaje zawieszona, dosłownie, tuż przed momentem oczekiwanej przeze mnie kulminacji - zaostrza to apetyt na ciąg dalszy, ale w sposób, pozostawiający spory niedosyt.Książkę zdecydowanie polecam!

  • Amber Cooke
    2018-12-31 20:30

    As is usually the case with Aldiss, when I read, I am more fascinated with the portrayal of humanity in a strange habitat than with the habitat itself.  This book is slow, because it is thoughtful and sensitive to the intricacy of human emotion, and it endeavors to show so much, so deeply.  Though it took a great deal of commitment and concentration to read, I enjoyed getting lost in it.  Aldiss is one of the few writers who can really show both masculine and feminine perspectives in his characters with veracity, so the characters stand out large in bright colors in my mind, and I fully understood their motivations and the meaning behind their words and actions. In contrast to the competing intelligent species, Phagors, who exhibit relatively few of the emotions humans do,  the humans on Helliconia show the reader what it is to be human: to feel wonderment, delight, regret, terror, conflicting repulsion and attraction to the same person or thing, patriotism, individualism, doubt, apprehension, and faith.  I will definitely read the other books in the trilogy, but not until I have fully digested my understanding of this one.

  • Ntilden
    2019-01-10 19:27

    I read the Helliconia series a couple years back. As I started the first book I found it slow, sparse, but it was also enjoyable enough to keep reading. The deeper I got in the series, the more interested I became - yet it always retained a slow, deliberate pace. After finishing the series I was content, but because of the pacing of the books I wasn't blown away by them (I had just finished Hyperion/Endymion, so Helliconia was like hitting a brick wall after the whirl-wind, world-jumping my brain was use to). I neglected rating them because I didn't really know whether I kinda liked them or really enjoyed them. Now, a couple years later, I've found myself thinking about the books quite often. Recent discoveries of ancient artifacts and technology here on Earth have me thinking back to the rise/fall of civilization on Helliconia and their continuous development and loss of technologies. With Helliconia's lasting impact on me I think they deserve my 5-star rating...and possibly a second read.

  • Jim
    2018-12-31 19:23

    World-Building fascinates more than any other aspect of science fiction. With that in mind, Brian Aldiss has masterfully created a world both unique and internally consistent. In Helliconia Spring, Brian Aldiss moves among three different generations of characters, but his story-telling falls short in comparison to his world-building. The planet Helliconia is truly the protagonist of the story, and its "great year" determines the evolution of the societies detailed therein. I can never quite escape the feeling that the stories of the characters are of less importance than the change of the seasons. For those geeks out there (like me) there are appendices in the back explaining the history of Helliconia. I have read this book twice, and will probably read it again at some point. I highly recommend this book for those readers interested in exploring a detailed and fascinating planet. If someone is looking for a gripping story with strong, fascinating characters, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

  • Clark
    2019-01-16 00:28

    A huge story. I have just finished this first volume with two more to go. The invention is massive and detailed and the characters are very well drawn and believable. Works on the same scale as Herbert's "Dune". Well worth the read.*****Finished the series some years later after working to overcome Lyme disease. Among other things, Lyme blasts your central nervous system and makes impossible to concentrate. During those years I slowly worked my way through these books.... which, it turned out, involved bimillenial changes to the human population through plauges of tick borne diseases that mutate the population and make it more adaptable to changing climates. The irony of reading this while working my way through chronic Lyme disease was huge. Anyway, great series but so very much to take in. Myriad characters and story lines. Well worth reading, but it's not a romp in the park. It's literally an eons long journey. Enjoy it. And always check for ticks.

  • Patrick
    2019-01-13 17:06

    Long, detailed world constructed by Aldiss ... still quite imaginative, and the characters have a little diversity.For those who like a reasonable dose of philosophy & religion with your SciFi this may appeal ... a good part of the book is about the main character Yuli's increasing involvement in a society driven by a bureaucratic-religious caste, and subsequent escape from it at the end.Develops the themes of the Phagor and other humanoid races on the planet Helliconia, and towards later stages the earthling's watching the planet - all themes developed furhter in the sequels.The 2nd part of the book is the more interesting bit I think, as the village of Embruddock slowly emerges from the Helliconian long winter, and rapidly moves from almost hunter-gatherer tribal society to the beginnings of an agricultural and trading one - and the fortunes of several youthful tribe members are made and lost as they become leaders, warriors, explorers, and nascent scientists.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-31 22:19

    I don’t really care for books which get you all involved with one character and then leap forward several generations and introduce you to another entirely new set. Which this book did and the next two will probably do also. However, once we got to the second set, I was very satisfied with Aldiss’ level of intimacy with his characters. His ability to add depth to the world of Helliconia was wonderful.But sometimes I felt I was just missing something important – there seemed to be obvious foreshadowing with bone disease and all of the astronomical information, but I couldn’t really decipher what it was foreshadowing. I felt like I was supposed to understand something but wasn’t able to. I’m not sure if this was through lack of follow up on Aldiss’ part, or my own inability to look deeper into the story. Either way, it was frustrating.

  • Heidi
    2019-01-07 22:16

    The world is very interesting and complex. He introduces it in such a way that you and understand and see the original objects and creatures that inhabit it. But it doesn't have much movement toward a climax. I didn't feel for the characters and it seemed like a genealogy story. The rather pointless winding plot bored me as I waited for something more than a succession of rulers in a changing society. Getting a little more than halfway through I skipped to the end to see if it was any more exciting. Nope. More of the same. There isn't any real maximum climax through the whole book, and then, it just kind of ends. Perhaps the climax is in one of the sequels - but there is no way I'm going to pick one of them up.

  • Samuel Viana
    2018-12-29 22:07

    Great book... in a word... simply marvelous. Imagine a world were the seasons don't last only three months, but thousands of years, like on the ancient Ice Ages On Earth. And when the Spring comes, it brings a new oportunity for the Freyr's sons (the humans) to take dominance over the Batalix ones (the fagors). These two so dissimilar races battle for ages without really knowing the reason for that conflict. But when the spring comes, it is written, it's time for the humans to prosper and the Fagor gonna be dominated... once more again !For me, it's a must read, on the highness of Dune. And for a trilogy, the others books of the series are read in a grasp !

  • Joey Woolfardis
    2019-01-09 00:25

    This was written in the style of a Norse Saga: very little flow and weird sentence structures that day things like "one day this happened" and "after a few days Yuli said this". There was very little dialogue and what there was was just info dumping. Speaking of info dumping, the first couple of chapters is basically just one huge info dump. Instead of showing us the author just tells us. We learn nothing of the characters other than what he tells us through info dumping, and even then it's just hugely boring. Too slow; though I quite like the premise of a terribly long Winter. Just executed poorly. A very good example of a sci-fi book from the era left behind that should stay behind.

  • JoelWerley
    2019-01-06 19:34

    This first book of the Helliconia Trilogy, famed for its unequaled world building it worth reading for that reason, and mostly (unfortunately) for that reason only. The book starts with a massive (about a fifth of the entire novel) prologue and the subsequent chapters read more like a narrative history than a novel. Characters are just names (or descendants of names) and it's hard to care about the people in this carefully drawn world. It's a bit of a slog, but the planet is worth a visit.