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The second published novel of Ursula K. Le Guin, Planet of Exile is quite a short book dealing with the coming of winter on a planet with a generation-long year.

The novel focuses on a nomadic clan of aboriginals and their interaction with the apparently more intelligent and clearly more technically advanced aliens who live nearby. This group is gradually declining, generations after the loss of their starship which was the only method of communication with their home planet. It is quickly apparent that this group are Hainish and are taught to mindspeak. This ability causes mistrust (if not downright fear and hatred) by the natives.

The story deals with the exceptional turmoil caused when highly nomadic natives threaten to overrun both groups. It seems they will be forced to overcome their fears and band together to survive ...

This book is clearly not hard sf - the interaction of the characters drives the plot. The plot line, in fact, reads more like a romance amidst dark times. There is little in this book to distinguish the writer Le Guin was soon to become. Nevertheless, she works the broad canvas which will serve as the background for such better known novels as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.

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