- Planet of Exile
infobox Book |
name = Planet of Exile
image_caption = Cover of first edition (softcover)
Ursula K. Le Guin
language = English
Science Fiction novel
release_date = 1966
media_type = Print (
isbn = NA
City of Illusions
"Planet of Exile" is a 1966 science-fiction novel by
Ursula K. Le Guinin her Hainish Cycle. It was first published as one half of an Ace Doublein 1966, bundled with "Mankind Under the Leash" by Thomas M. Disch. It was reissued in 1994, with two other early Le Guin novels, under the title " Worlds of Exile and Illusion".
The story is set on Werel, the third planet of the
Gamma Draconissystem. The planet has an orbital period of 60 Earth years, and is approaching its correspondingly long winter. The main characters are members belong to one of two major groups: Wold and his daughter Rolery are members of the Tevarans, a tribe of humanoid extraterrestrial indigenous to the planet. Jakob Agat is a young man from a dwindling colony of Earth humans that have been effectively marooned on the planet. Although both populations share a common genetic heritage in the Hainish people, the difference is significant enough to prevent interbreeding (at least, so it is believed at the beginning of the story).
The relationship between the two groups has long been tense and characterized by limited interaction. However, with the approaching dangers of winter and mauraders, the visit of curious young Rolery to the colony becomes a sign of coming changes.
Role in the Hainish Cycle
The peoples of the various worlds in Le Guin's space fiction are descendants of an ancient settlement from
Hain. Whether or not the Alterrans were genetically engineered is not discussed. The Gethenians of " The Left Hand of Darkness" are believed to have been, as are several other peoples, but the Alterrans are not mentioned in this context.
Descendants of the earth human/Trevarian mix would eventually rescue a conquered Earth from alien conquerors who could mind lie - which they used to conquer the telepathic League of All Worlds. This is the 'backstory' to "
City of Illusions". The reunification is mentioned in " The Left Hand of Darkness", though no story has yet given us any details.
The planet called Werel in "
Four Ways to Forgiveness" is a completely different world from the planet of the Alterrans.
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