Planet of Exile

Planet of Exile

infobox Book |
name = Planet of Exile
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of first edition (softcover)
author = Ursula K. Le Guin
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Hainish Cycle
genre = Science Fiction novel
publisher = Ace Books
release_date = 1966
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = NA
preceded_by =
followed_by = City of Illusions

"Planet of Exile" is a 1966 science-fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin in her Hainish Cycle. It was first published as one half of an Ace Double in 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".

Plot summary

The story is set on Werel, the third planet of the Gamma Draconis system. 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.


* Russian: " _ru. "Планета изгнания"" ("Planet of Exile"), 1980, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2006
* Italian: "Il Pianeta dell'esilio"

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