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Canopus in Argos: Archives [Doris Lessing] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Book by Lessing, Doris. This book is the fourth volume in the second series, called Canopus in Argos: Archives, begun in with Shikasta. Lessing, better known as. Canopus in Argos is a sequence of science fiction novels by Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing, first published from to , which portray a.

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Canopus in Argos – Wikiquote

It’s an odd rule, you can go all stream of consciousness, you can tell stories forwards, backwards, sideways, have hallucinations and dream sequences and unreliable narrators, but as soon as you unironically start sticking spaceships into things, you’ve just demoted your novel to the kiddie table. There are competing galactic empires and enemy agents and spies. The Zones are mentioned in the first book and seem to exist as metaphorical and spiritual areas and are places that Canopus feels the need to interfere regularly, insisting that the queen of Zone Three marry the more militant prince of Zone Four and in turn he marries the more tribal queen of Zone Five.

Not only does the “Canopus. Try it for yourself if you like, and see.

None of them are geared toward telling a continuous story but rather a patchwork depicting the various relationships between Canopus the nice empire, more or lessthe Sirian Empire and the dark and dastardly Shammat, all of which have various traits that are often contrasted with each other, especially in their effects on alien societies.

May 23, Jeff oessing it really liked it. Or could they just be monumental exercises of the urge lessign spill words?

Canopus in Argos: Archives by Doris Lessing

In other projects Wikiquote. There’s never a sense that she’s slumming or talking down to the mouth-breathing SF readers and in a world where other writers sometimes work hard to backpedal any elements in their books that might be remotely construed as SF and reassure people that, “No, no, I’m lessjng about serious things” even when they really have aliens and spaceships, Lessing’s attitude toward this is remarkably refreshingshe simply feels this is the genre that best fits these particular stories she wants to tell.


The empire of Puttiora, and their outlaw planet Shammat, are the “bad guys,” being parasites and general troublemakers who suck energy from the Alignment that energizes the Galactic Necessity, which only the Canopeans fully understand.

I don’t think anyone I know has the patience to put up with it or the courage to face it. These sections feel like they play more to her strengths and include some honest human emotion, giving the story that all the vaguely dippy “Substance of We-Feeling” talk is lacking.

A few years later, feeling trapped in a persona that she feared would destroy her, she left her family, remaining in Salisbury. Wulfa rated it it was amazing Aug 27, It keeps the strangeness that marked the earlier novels but in the canops of this novel, makes it strange indeed as people come down with rhetorical diseases and have to be reeducated, immersed in treatments at hospitals that may not take.

Canopus in Argos Series

Nov 04, Kelly Spoer rated it really liked it. Perhaps this isn’t accidental, as I read later that Lessing was influenced by the writings of Indries Shah.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Even when the titles did correspond to what I imagined as actual English, it gave no clue as to what the stories might be about. There’s hardly any fighting or space battles and most of what passes for genre cliches are blissfully absent, replaced by something wholly strange, recognized only when viewed through skewed glass. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


The reader eventually comes to realize that the planet “Shikasta” being described dispassionately by envoys from the highly technologically advanced civilization of Canopus, is Earth. Books by Doris Lessing. Archives,” along with the writings of Gurdjieff, be Sufi expositions rendered consciously or unconsciously by these authors?

There’s enough SF so that you can’t really mistake it for anything else, but readers walking in thinking they are going to get standard SF will be utterly confused. Bootheina rated it it was amazing Sep 24, It isn’t an easy read and it isn’t a pretty story. Galateea rated it it was amazing Mar 29, I have read it straight through twice, and go back to browse at least once a year.

The story of what’s going on and who’s who unfolds over the first, third and fifth novels. May 30, Loren rated it it was amazing Recommends it argoade Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school such as Oliv Both of her parents were British: The second book, though, is unbelievably more honed and crafted in the direction of revolutionary As an “omnibus collection” covering millions of years of universal development, it’s enough to say that Canopus in Argos rewards patience, pauses, and revisitation.

I didn’t buy it right away and when I did get around to it the volume had gone out of print. Even as it gives an epic account of the struggles between Canopus and its rivals over the fate of the universe, ‘Canopus in Argos’ comments, with Canopjs characteristic insight and eloquence, on human history and our prospects for the future.

Maybe it helps to be a bit twisted to appreciate her.