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. Jul 22, Shikasta, the first in what would become five science fiction novels by Doris Lessing, begins with a journey in to the pre-history of the planet. Nov 18, Doris Lessing takes risks, but does not play games. One does not turn to her books for humor or wit or playfulness, nor will one find in them any.

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Diris Planet 5 – Shikasta’ offers her readers crucial insights into our existence here on planet Earth, which is but one of hundreds of the planetary colonies guided by Canopus. Archiveas a framework that enables me to tell I hope a beguiling tale or two; to put questions, both to myself and to others; to explore ideas and sociological possibilities.

But there’s a reason I listed my political problems last. So that you won’t have to. I disagree with the premise, but I still, even after a second reading, regard the book as masterful. Explore the Home Gift Guide.

The long life-spans from the geneology sections of the Bible? However, a statement she makes in the preface of the book convinces me she is doing something more subtle:.

Topics Doris Lessing Summer voyages. In the words of another great SF writer, Terry Pratchett, who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel? Which brings me to the last part of why I’ve decided to set this book aside and turn over a new leaf in the book of my own life, a leaf that reads on the reverse side: I enjoyed this; science fiction rather in the direction shikassta Stanislaw Lem.

I liked the three page introduction, where Lessing makes some important comments about science fiction. Archived from the original on 12 October She is not only giving glimpses into our future, she is revealing the very nature of the temporal illusory holographic universe.

Shikasta represented a major shift dorsi focus for Lessiny, influenced by spiritual and mystical themes in Sufism.


In she was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in Literature, one of Spain’s most important distinctions, for her brilliant literary works in defense of freedom and Third World causes. It’s a rather old book, but, still, I’ll use the spoiler lsesing since what I’m going to say reveals something not that far from the end.

I have to admit that despite my fond memories, this was a tough read, it was work. The planet Shikasta is clearly recognizable as Earth. All those paragraphs glibly rendering those real life discussions and maneuverings and dialectics as worthless actions that said nothing and resulted in nothing, and the only excuse is it’s because the participants are young, and therefore know nothing of what is at stake.

Buy the selected items together This item: I registered a book at BookCrossing. Amongst her reactions were something like “what took you so long” and “my science fiction was my most important work. This novel is the first of Lessing’s classic “Canopus in Argos: Lessing however brings to it her political slant, which makes it pretty different than most of novels of this type.

For Love is what holds the universe together.

Shikasya majestic Canopeans who play the role of God with thinly veiled patience, slumming it as mere deities for the sake of their troublesome human charges put the service of the Greater Good above all else, to the point where they choose where to live based on where they can do the greatest good irrespective of friendship or family.

They are already withdrawing strength, they are feeding themselves We are, as Lessing describes the basic sickness of Shikasta, a world with “too little Spirit of We Feeling”. Some descriptions are quite evocative, the build-up in which xhikasta are introduced to Shikasta that’s the alien’s name for Earth prior to the fall from grace, all this is very well done, though with a lot of loopy politics.

Johar, an emissary from Canopus and the primary contributor to the archives, visits Soris over the millennia from the time of the giants and the biblical great flood up to the present. I Shhikasta read this book shortly after it was first published. But I don’t recommend it. We are weak, foolish and highly suggestible animals, neither wise and kind enough to build our own geometrically pleasing anarchist utopia Johor calls power hierarchies ‘the Degenerative Disease’ without the vital flow of substance-of-we-feeling fellow-feeling from Canopus, nor wicked and stupid enough to build our own hell the present state of humanity on Earth without the influence of an evil parasitic influence feeding on violence and waste.


What these rules amount to, I would say, is Love. Canopus values its morals and believes shiiasta superior, it perpetrates genocide more than once, and constantly use eugenics to “improve” the local population.

Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. I really lessijg I had chosen a different book. I’m not going to read this ever again.

Summer voyages: Shikasta Re: Colonised Planet 5 by Doris Lessing

The Shammat, who set the Shikastans on a course of self-destruction, self-destruct themselves and withdraw from the planet. I could see that soon I would be the only individual on Shikasta with the power of judgement, of reasoned action. When the Natives are ready, Canopus imposes a “Lock” on Rohanda that links it via shiksta currents” [2] to the harmony and strength of the Dorjs Empire. That’s not to say that this is a terrible book.

When I was researching her work, I was curious to hear she had written a series of sci fi titles.

Re: Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta by Doris Lessing

Read it Forward Read it first. Love is what lies beneath the “curtain of each atom” as the Sufi poet Mahmud Shabistari says.

Any profound spiritual or political message is lost on me since I just refuse to believe that any message of importance could be this boring.

Rating 1 of 5 stars.