- Title: Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta
- Author: Doris Lessing
- ISBN: 9780394749778
- Page: 455
- Format: Paperback
This is the first volume in the series of novels Doris Lessing calls collectively Canopus in Argos Archives Presented as a compilation of documents, reports, letters, speeches and journal entries, this purports to be a general study of the planet Shikasta clearly the planet Earth to be used by history students of the higher planet Canopus and to be stored in the CanopianThis is the first volume in the series of novels Doris Lessing calls collectively Canopus in Argos Archives Presented as a compilation of documents, reports, letters, speeches and journal entries, this purports to be a general study of the planet Shikasta clearly the planet Earth to be used by history students of the higher planet Canopus and to be stored in the Canopian archives For eons, galactic empires have struggled against one another, and Shikasta is one of the main battlegrounds.Johar, an emissary from Canopus and the primary contributor to the archives, visits Shikasta over the millennia from the time of the giants and the biblical great flood up to the present With every visit he tries to distract Shikastans from the evil influences of the planet Shammat but notes with dismay the ever growing chaos and destruction of Shikasta as its people hurl themselves towards World War III and annihilation.
Recent Comments "Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta"
My favorite quotes from this book both come from the introduction:"Shikasta has as its starting point, like many others of the genre, the Old Testament. It is our habit to dismiss the Old Testament altogether because Jehovah, or Jahve, does not think or behave like a social worker.""I do think that there is something very wrong with an attitude that puts a 'serious' novel on one shelf and, let's say, First and Last Men on another."And, indeed, the overall effect is rather as though Olaf Stapledo [...]
i first read Shikasta fifteen years ago, and found it fantastic but very difficult. Rereading it now i felt differently, it was both a lot easier but also a lot less impressive.A white woman who grew up in Zimbabwe back when it was Rhodesia become a nobel laureate in literature last year. Amongst her reactions were something like "what took you so long" and "my science fiction was my most important work."Shikasta is the first book in Lessing's science fiction series, and it is very much a long, [...]
No pude terminarlo. Cuando iba por el tercio del libro (que se me hizo eterno) decidí abandonarlo. No quise seguir perdiendo el tiempo en una lectura que no va conmigo porque, siendo honesta, el libro no es malo, su planteamiento es bastante interesante. Propone que la evolución de la vida en los planetas es controlada por tres milenarios imperios galácticos rivales, quienes, a través de pequeñas intervenciones, en equilibrio con los diferentes eventos astrales, van dirigiendo el destino de [...]
First read January 2005This book does three ambitious things.1. It takes the Old Testament of the Bible as inspiration for its mythical geo-historical content, but instead of an angry bearded guy in charge, it has a super-advanced utopian-collectivist space-travelling civilization colonising Earth and then struggling to maintain a shadow of hope and stability through thousands of literally star-crossed years when the unfortunate planet is fed on and influenced by another, evil space-travelling c [...]
This book is so terrible that I added a new shelf: "refused-to-finish". It has managed to supplant Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson as the worst book I've had the misfortune to encounter (and this includes Breaking Dawn!). The main problem with this book is that the writing is bad. Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize in literature for this series, so I had high hopes that at a minimum the prose would be good. It's not. Not even a little bit. There have been precisely two moments in the 156 pages I [...]
This is absolutely the most janky book I have ever readom the 1st Dictionary of Nate:janky--JANE-key (adjective); 1: thrown together at random; patchwork. 2: containing multiple elements, many of which contradict each other, and some that are mutually exclusive 3:top-heavy; lurching randomly in every direction at once 4:aspirations beyond achievement, and/or aspirations that are impossible to achieve 5:distinctive in being completely psychotic 6:something designed over the course of eons by a lu [...]
I really wanted to like this but it was just too dull. I really wanted to finish this but life is too short. I got nearly two hundred pages in and just found myself dreading reading time because I knew I would have to pick this up.There's no plot for the reader to follow. There are no characters for the reader to engage with. There is no point to this narrative other than to show how stupid and corrupt humanity is. Yeah, well, I already know that and this is not what I call entertainment.This is [...]
I enjoy Doris Lessing and I enjoy speculative fiction. Somehow though, the combination had a tragic outcome. An attempt to be clever that fails in an impenetrable epistolary mess. If you want great epistolary spec-fic, try The Prestige by Christopher Priest instead. If you want great Lessing, read anything by her that's realist. Ignore this novel. Erase it - if you can - from you memory because Lessing was actually a super talented writer.
This work is kin to Oryx and Crake, and to a lesser extent Babel-17: conservative where it needs to be progressive, progressive where it needs to be informed, and all in all amounting to little more than a done to death rehashing of various mainstream assumptions sprinkled with a few intriguing hints at veritable open fields. The insensate jabbering on and on about the evils of history with nary a holistic breakdown into tiers of intra community issues and intersectional community action outside [...]
This is a very depressing book, an alternate take on human history, but I like being miserable so I dug it. It is very well-written and I don't feel it is slow-moving at all. Ms. Lessing does a great job of making such a ( seemingly ) far-fetched story believable.One thing--Am I the only person who noticed the similarity to "Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson" by G.I. Gurdjieff? The plot and even some of the writing style are so much alike. Since Ms. Lessing was a student of Sufism and Idries Sha [...]
I think I'm just reading the wrong Doris because I know people love her but this was the boringest thing ever. Just a dull froth of myth + sci fi. IT'S EARTH THE PLANET IS EARTH OMG. Hated it. Forget why I started it. Not finishing it.
I don’t recommend this book. Actually I don’t think it should have ever seen print. Don’t get me wrong, I like slow, deep books with profound spiritual and political messages, especially if their science fiction. I don’t recommend this book for one reason: it is inexcusable boring. Let me explain. I liked the three page introduction, where Lessing makes some important comments about science fiction. The first half of the novel, a retelling of the Old Testament with SF elements, is kind o [...]
I read this book shortly after it was first published. I've since finished re-reading it in its eBook form.It was hard. But then, Lessing's "Briefing for a Descent into Hell" was hard, and worth the trouble. Shikasta was then, and remains, a book of huge scope. It runs across all of human history, adding in pre-history and moving forward beyond today and into the future.As I read it I fancied I discovered echoes of "The Four-Gated City", the final book in Lessing's Children of Violence series. I [...]
Rating 1¾ of 5 stars.I had to abandon this book!I read about half of it and skimmed the other half, reading some pages here and there. It just didn't work for me. I was bored almost all of the time. The writing style is way too wordy to me, the sentences too long where they don't necessarily have to be.I neither found a coherent story, nor any characters to care for, and parts of it is too much of a lecture to me. This, combined with the biblical/mystical/esoteric undertones was enough to final [...]
This was the latest in my Nobel Laureate readings, and I started this one I think back in May. It took me this long to finish it, and if it weren't for the fact that it was part of my challenge this year I may not have forced myself through it. I chose this because I thought it was interesting that a Nobel Laureate had written a sci-fi novel, but I've been really careful to NOT read reviews before I read one of these books, since I'm trying to stay open minded. But I really wish I had chosen a d [...]
The first volume in Doris Lessing’s praised sci-fi quintet is a truly curious piece of literature. I almost hesitate to call “Shikasta” a novel, due to its erratic structure. Lessing’s style here brings to mind Virginia Woolf, early Jack Vance and most of all William S. Burroughs. It’s much like “The Naked Lunch,” even though its sci-fi setting creates a bit more congruence between the individual stories, manifesto’s, apologies and philosophical as well as mythological deconstruc [...]
I've read some critics's reviews of Shikasta which suggest that the book is different from most science fiction in that it has well developed characters and a deeply meaningful plot. (!) Of course, the critics still hated the fact that Doris Lessing "demeaned" herself by writing science fiction at all, so I guess no one can win. I really wanted to love this book because it is so highly regarded and a friend of mine loved it, but those were in fact the only reasons I finished it. The first hundre [...]
This is the third Doris Lessing book that I've read, and I feel now like I kind of have a handle on what her work is generally like. She has recurring themes and settings. I started reading this on a trip, and it was probably only because I was on a trip that I powered through it. That is to say, I didn't have anything else to read. When I got back, I put it down and didn't touch it for a month, when I finished it while on another trip.That's not to say that this is a terrible book. It's just ve [...]
Doris Lessing was first recommended to me by Karen Spilke, my next-door neighbor in the senior year at Union Theological Seminary, who read part of her Golden Notebook aloud while I was driving her car up to visit her parent's summer house near Leeds, New York. I had certainly heard of Lessing before and this reading put it back in my head to get down to reading her fiction.Then, Shikasta came out, a science fiction novel by the intended. Great! I bought it in hardcover and two of the subsequent [...]
I am including this book in my "favorites" because of the unusual impact it had on me for about 25 years. I have the 1981 paperback image that's shown. I read most of the book sometime soon after that. It's a rather old book, but, still, I'll use the spoiler alert since what I'm going to say reveals something not that far from the end. (view spoiler)[What happened was that a significant way into the narrative a female character commits suicide. Within the fantasy world Lessing has created, that [...]
I went back and forth over whether I liked this book. It was slow to get going, and once it got going was not necessarily heavy on plot as much as heavy on social commentary. It tells the story of Earth, from a science fiction worthy beginning (the planet being stewarded by a benevolent alien race), through the horrors of war in the 20th Century. The book was written in 1979, so much of the last part of the book is speculation, and reasonable speculation based on what was happening in the world [...]
This novel is the first of Lessing's classic "Canopus in Argos: Archives" series. It differs from much modern science fiction in that is defies classification. In part science fiction, in part psychological-religious exploration, in part modern doomsday tale, in part pseudo-historical documentation, the story follows the earthly life of Geoge Sherban, human incarnation of the Canopan being Johor. George/ Johor visits a near future Earth where human society is on the brink of total breakdown. Joh [...]
I read this as part of book club But I don't recommend it The story is very slow, has a lot of repetition and obvious things, and the language is hard to read too. The premise is somewhat interesting, but unfortunately the delivery is very poor. It gets slightly better in the last third, but IMO reading this have not been such a great use of my time (sorry if this sounds rude!).
I know that a book is exceptional if I’ve read it more than once. More than twice, and it has to be extraordinary. Doris Lessing’s Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta (the first in a series known as Canopus in Argos) is one of those. Known for her extensive corpus of mainstream, left-leaning fiction, Shikasta represents her first foray into science fiction and into mysticism. Her die-hard fans hated her new direction and hoped it wouldn’t last. She’d already tried their patience with Briefi [...]
Shikasta is the first of five volumes in Lessing's Canopus in Argos cycle. Lessing herself calls these books space fiction and explains that this genre (i.e. a type of science fiction) in her eyes is unjustifiably maligned and provides the opportunity to think beyond boundaries.Essentially, the five books together represent nothing less than a holistic view of Earth and mankind. The planet Shikasta is clearly recognizable as Earth. Canopus is the home planet of a superior, almost transcendental [...]
I registered a book at BookCrossing!BookCrossing/journal/14414322
I borrowed this book from the library, I noted that while it had been borrowed on at least 10 different occasions (going by the date stamps at the front) no one had seemed to have gotten further than the first 100 pages or so! (judging by the creases in the spine). I have to admit I found the first half of this book really annoying. The first 100 pages or so were quite confusing, the different levels of the planet and the different forces, once it became clear that it was Earth it started to mak [...]
Wow. I am happily surprised how much I liked this book. My 1st try at D. Lessing was THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK, and I could not get myself into it, gave it up pretty quickly. When I was researching her work, I was curious to hear she had written a series of sci fi titles. The "sci" in this sci fi is on the light side. As is the case in much of the finest science fiction, distancing us from the known world can help an author frame a story the better to make points about that same world. The basic point [...]
I enjoyed this; science fiction rather in the direction of Stanislaw Lem. Lots of diplomacy and secret agents involved as well, hardly any sci-fi-typical technology. A little dated now in some aspects, perhaps. but the general concern about humanity is hardly ever out of time.Somehow the book also presents a kind of theodicee, in that the reason of Man's depravity is due to 'cosmic forces', beyond the control even of the 'supervisors'. The foreseeable resolve of the story into a kind of Happy En [...]
I have been going through my books and reading those I recall fondly, but forget. I read this book in my twenties, and loved it. I have to admit that despite my fond memories, this was a tough read, it was work. But I am glad i read it.It is speculative fiction written in the form of reports and diary entries, sort of first hand-sources, about the decline of human civilization and the causes of it (tampering by bad aliens, of course!). So you have to kind of get with that narrative style, and th [...]
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