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An Alien Light (1988)

af Nancy Kress

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
334760,365 (3.52)8
This science fiction novel tells how the human race is at war with the Ged, a species that is baffled by mankind's ability to turn violence upon itself. In order to defeat the humans, the Ged must first understand them, but they don't anticipate that they will meet opposition from a few humans.
  1. 10
    Dawn af Octavia E. Butler (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Humans deal with aliens with incomprehensible objectives. The Kress is less dark than the Butler
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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
The premise of this book is that aliens, at war with humanity in space, find a lost colony of humans and study them to see what makes them tick. There are three groups of humans on this lost planet; survivors from the starship that brought them who flick in and out of stasis, a militaristic society, and a trader society. The latter two are almost constantly at war with one another. This is an interesting idea but probably beyond the ability of one novel to explore satisfactorily. There are gaps and unanswered questions. I would have liked more insights about the cultures, how they developed and why they are so antagonistic to one another. The ending also seems a bit abrupt. I won’t give that away though. This might have made a great series but one book wasn’t enough to handle the idea. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Nancy Kress clearly loves classic SF and the opening chapters of this novel appeared to be a straightforward implementation of that classic plot where aliens can't figure out what makes humans so special and successful.

I hate that plot! But I loved this book because unlike the shallow pat on the back "aren't we special" offerings of other authors (all male that I recall), Kress uses the situation to explore in depth what it means to be alien on several very personal levels. The storyline shares a number of features with King's more recent Under the Dome: humans who shouldn't be on the same coast are placed in a closed environment, with declining health and a crumbling moral and social structure. As in Under the Dome, there's a lot of violence, especially against women, and fear here, but unlike King there's a lot more being said about identity, how socially-defined values can make true communication near impossible, and how often and how deeply societies embed the mistreatment of women.

The weakest aspect of the book are the aliens who are studying the humans. A critical aspect of the "aren't humans special" plot is that the aliens have to be very advanced, convincingly alien, and clueless. I've yet to see a writer bring that combination off. Kress does no worse than the rest I suppose. Had she managed that, this would be 4, maybe even 5 stars. Highly recommended even so. ( )
1 stem ChrisRiesbeck | Aug 4, 2014 |
Kress became a favorite after I read her Beggars in Spain, which won both Nebula and Hugo awards. An Alien Light wasn't as strong as that book, but I thought hung together better than her other early novel, Brainrose. That one was set in the near future, and had dated quite badly--this one is set in our far future, and still works. In that future an alien race, the Ged, are at war with humanity. The aliens discover a planet where a human colony had reverted to a primitive state, divided into the warrior Jelites and the mercantile Delysians. The aliens set up a sort of social experiment, luring members of both groups into a settlement they create to study and understand humans. Mostly the story gets told through the Delysian artisan Ayrys, and three Jelites, a "sister-warrior" Jehane, a warrior-priest Dahar and the young prostitute SuSu. The title turns out to be apt in more than one sense as Kress uses the alien perspective to examine what it means to be human. It's an engrossing story, with aliens that feel--well, alien, and characters I cared about. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jun 22, 2013 |
I read this a long time ago. It was decent, but not great, unfortunately it put me off from reading anything else by her. ( )
  Karlstar | Jan 16, 2012 |
this book is about two different groups of humans trying to get along on the planet Qom. An alien group is trying to analyze the humans to find out why they are so successful in the war against the alien. ( )
  amacmillen | Apr 10, 2008 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Nancy Kressprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
White, TimBidragydermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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This science fiction novel tells how the human race is at war with the Ged, a species that is baffled by mankind's ability to turn violence upon itself. In order to defeat the humans, the Ged must first understand them, but they don't anticipate that they will meet opposition from a few humans.

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