Helliconia Summer by Brian W. Aldiss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I can say a lot of good things about this book. Helliconia's worldbuilding is rather vast and interesting and if you're an SF fan that dies over long time-spans, rich planet history, and cultural upheavals on an alien world, then this is for you.
It's made even more complicated when the world had thousands of years of ice ages and warmer periods that affect all the cultures, but it's most interesting when we have the conflicts between the local humans and the indigenous intelligent life. Add the fact that there's a human space station observing all this and sending the feed back to Earth for entertainment, keeping the world quarantined except for a rare lottery that lets the bored go down, and we've got a better setup for a bit of chaos.
This is an epic book. Epic in the sense that it is vast and vastly imagined.
So why do I give it only 4 stars? Because while it is fascinating, intellectually, it's not particularly gripping. I respect it. I simply don't fall off the balcony for it. It's still a good read, though.
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