Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia Epub Õ A Fable of MOBI

Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia Epub Õ A Fable of MOBI

Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia ➾ Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia Download ➹ Author Mike Resnick – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia collects Mike Resnick's famous Kirinyaga stories and ties them together in a thematic arc that has novel like continuity The story focuses on Koriba a mundumugu sort of lik Kirinyaga A Fable of Fable of PDF/EPUB è Utopia collects Mike Resnick's famous Kirinyaga stories and ties them together in a thematic arc that has novel like continuity The story focuses on Koriba a mundumugu sort of like a witch doctor and a wise man rolled into one of the Kikuyu tribe Koriba feels that his tribe has been corrupted by European technology so he helps to establish a small utopian planetoid named Kirinyaga where the Kikuyu can return to their roots Kirinyaga A Kindle - farming the land and worshipping the god Ngai without technological or cultural interference As utopias go Kirinyaga experiences its fair share of problems both from within and without each of which is detailed in the individual chapters and stories ContentsOne Perfect Morning with Jackals Kirinyaga For I Have Touched the Sky Bwana The Manamouki Song of a Dry River The Lotus and the Spear A Little Knowledge When the Old Gods Die The Land of Nod .


10 thoughts on “Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia

  1. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    Kirinyaga is what the locals tribes call Mount Kenya The distinction is important because it marks the refusal by the traditionalist Kikuyu to accept the Western values especially in view of the extensive environmental damage overpopulation and loss of cultural identity they are confronted with in the twenty second century So when new technological advances open up the Space for the creation of human colonies on carefully terraformed and climate controlled planetoids these tribesmen decide to leave Kenya and go live by the rules of their forefathers in a Utopian society among starsThe principal artisan of the movement is Koriba an elderly Western University educated Kikuyu the spiritual leader of the colonists and the liant that holds together the eight novellas included in this Mike Resnick collection The stories were published independently over than one decade but there is a chronological and logical progression in the study of a Utopian society that justifies the treatment of the sum of these episodes as a proper unitary novelI was first attracted to the title by its non Western source of inspiration and by the numerous genre awards the novellas have received over the years I have also admired another Mike Resnick story set in Africa addressing the nature of humanity as a whole Seven Views of the Olduvai Gorge Kiriniaga delivered on my expectations on multiple levels and the author’s boast that it is his best work seems justified The application of myths legends and parables in the description of he Kikuyu culture and the complete rejection of modern technology places the novel in the “soft” SF sociological study category and the issues tackled here – identity the individual needs versus the community needs sustainable development democracy versus tyranny reckless progress versus conservative stagnation traditional values versus freedom of thought globalization versus cultural diversity – have direct application to problems we are already confronting in the beginning of the third milleniumBecause the novellas were conceived to function both as stand alones and as stepping stones in the efforts of Koriba to create the perfect society for his people there is some overlap and repetition of themes Each episode begins with a parable about Ngai the supreme deity of the Kikuyu followed by the exposition of a current crisis Koriba has to defuse and ending with the moral the lesson of the day that the mundumugu wants to impart to his audiences What exactly is a mundumugu? You would call him a witch doctor But in truth the mundumugu while occasionally casts spells and interpret omens is a repository of the collected wisdom and traditions of his raceKoriba in his role of mundumugu assumes the mantle ultimate authority of judge and jury of every tresspassing against the racial traditions that he claims are the only road to follow for the creation of Utopia He wields the power of Ngai ironically through a computer screen communicating to climate control supervisors and when his parables are not enough to sway his villagers he is not shy of cursing the entire community until he gets his wishes1 One Perfect Morning With Jackals is the prologue describing the departure from a homeland where all the big game is extinct the sacred mount is now a megalopolis and the people have embraced fully the global culture Favorite uote To be thrown out of Paradise as were the Christian Adam and Eve is a terrible fate but to live beside a debased Paradise is infinitely worse 2 Kirinyaga is the first story set in the new lands and one of the most controversial because it asks the readers if a traditional population has the right to adhere to its superstitions and outdated rules In this case it is infanticide but you can expand the uestion to cannibalism scalping underage marriage Sharia circumcision or gay rights Koriba argues in favor of maintaining Kikuyu identity by any means necessary as the only society cabable of living in harmony with its environment3 For I Have Touched the Sky is my favorite story and it deals with access to knowledge and informed choices a theme that will be revisited later in the novel Here one of the smartest young girls in the village comes to work for Koriba and incidentally gains access to his computer She has a wonderful thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity but in a traditional Kikuyuy society women are restricted to fieldwork and housekeeping servants to the power of their menfolk Once a bird has ridden upon the winds he cannot live on the ground Do all birds die when they can no longer fly? Most do A few like the security of the cage but most die of broken hearts for having touched the sky they cannot bear to lose the gift of flight 4 Bwana deals with the problem of an agricultural pacifist society facing a warrior culture In this case a Masaai hunter is called to the village to help with hyena attacks against children only to refuse afterwards to leave bullying the locals into submitting to him as the leader of the pack Koriba needs all the cunning of his old tales to find a solution to get rid of the tyrant without appealing to the world’s supervisors What kind of Utopia permits children to be devoured by wild animals? You cannot understand what it means to be full until you have been hungry You cannot know what it means to be warm and dry until you have been cold and wet And Ngai knows even if you do not that you cannot appreciate life without death 5 The Manamouki uestions the welcoming of strangers inside the Kikuyu Utopia as a couple of immigrants come to Koriba’s village No matter how hard the Western woman tries to live by the rules of the Kikuyu she is not accepted by the other wives who look at her with envy and distrust There are many different notions of Utopia Kirinyaga is the Kikuyu’s 6 Song of a Dry River returns to the theme of women in a traditional society in this case Mumbi an old lady who is “put out to pasture” by the younger wives of her son but still feels the need to work and be useful The story also marks a turning point in our perception of Koriba from a benevolent if strict traditional ruler to a vengeful and petty tyrant who cannot brook any challenge to his absolute authority Can a society be considered Utopian if not all its members are happy to live in it? Perhaps there are no Utopias and we must each be concerned with our own happiness 7 The Lotus and the Spear is another take on the issue of the pursuit of happiness as Koriba is confronted with a series of suicides among young men who feel depressed by the lack of challenges and the lack of any real prospects for the future in the Utopian society they live in All that they have to look forward to is inheriting the house and the herds from their fathers marrying raising children and letting their women work the plots of land From time to time I cannot help wondering what must become of a society even a Utopia such as Kirinyaga where our best and our brightest are turned into outcasts and all that remains are those who are content to eat the fruit of the lotus 8 A Little Knowledge is about Koriba’s search for the next mundumugu the one who will carry the torch of his dreams to the next generation “I sought a boy who grasped the difference between facts which merely informed and parables which not only informed but instructed I needed a Homer a Jesus a Shakespeare someone who could touch men’s souls and gently guide them down the path that must be taken” He picks up Ndemi the brightest child in the village and spends years apprenticing him to the job only to discover that the boy is capable of reasoning by himself and doesn’t necessarily agrees with his master’s philosophy It was you who taught me how to think Koriba Would you have me stop thinking now just because I think differently than you do? 9 When The Old Gods Die describes the ultimate defeat of the Utopian dream of Koriba the final capitulaton of Ngai in front of progressive new ideas It is time for Koriba to recognize that his Utopia may be different from the Utopia desired by the rest of his Kikuyu community And a possible conclusion is that a perfect society cannot be frozen in time and must provide for new ways of thinking and new challenges You can direct change Koriba but you cannot prevent it and that is why Kirinyaga will always break your heart 10 The Land of Nod presents the inglorious return of Koriba to the Westernalized Kenya an outcast from his Utopian Kirinyaga a living anachronism that cannot unbend and see the positive sides of progress looking only at the destructive aspects of the new world Like one of the extinct animals that once ruled the savannah he must pass on into a mythical realm of legends like his once all powerful god Ngai The thing I had not realized is that a society can be Utopian for only an instant – once it reaches a state of perfection it cannot change and still be a Utopia and it is the nature of societies to grow and to evolve Highly recommended


  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    50 stars WOW This was an exceptional collection of inter connected short stories that should be seen as one complete story The cosmetic premise of the of the stories is about a group of 22nd century Kenyans unhappy with its evolution into another European city who emigrate to a planetary colony in order to live simply and in harmony with the land as their ancestors did The real or underlying premise of these stories are about the struggle of one person against the inevitability of progress and change This struggle is shown through the eyes of Koriba the colonies mundumugu ie holy man as he attempts to keep outside influences ideas and technologies from contaminating the culture of his people Many of these conflicts made it very difficult to sympathize with Koriba's position given my and presumably most readers Western viewpoint ie killing an infant because it is cursed leaving the elderly and infirm outside the village at night to be consummed by hyenas and refusing life saving medical services However even when we end up disagreeing with his position Resnick does a great job of making the reader see these issues through Koriba's eyes so that at least we understand him Not an easy thing to do and Resnick does it superbly The tale of Koriba and the colony of Kirinyaga are told in a series of connected short stories that when taken together is the most HONORED collection in terms of major and minor awards and nominations of short stories in the history of Science Fiction see below for list of MAJOR awards only This is definitely a worth while collection and a SUPERIOR achievement by a great author HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Table of ContentsOne Perfect Morning With Jackals Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award Kirinyaga Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus Award Voted to Locus All Time Best Short Story ListFor I Have Touched the Sky Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardBwana Nominee Locus AwardThe Manamouki Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardSong of a Dry River The Lotus and the Spear Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardA Little Knowledge Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardWhen the Old Gods Die Winner Locus Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Hugo AwardThe Land of Nod Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award


  3. Ivan Ivan says:

    One of the best books I read this year deservedly considered sci fi classic Actual review might come at some point later


  4. Chris Chris says:

    I was torn on this one I wanted to like it going in and was actually captivated by the opening story One Perfect Morning with Jackals That was a great introduction to the new world set up by the Eutopian Council clever name that called Kirinyaga an attempt to get back to the roots of the Kikuyu tribe of what we barbaric Europeans call KenyaAnd here's where the being torn comes in As I read story after story I realized that I didn't like the narrator Koriba At first I'd sympathized with him but after some of his rulings as mundumugu I wanted someone to leave him out for the hyenas Then I decided I didn't much care for the stories as a whole Each one started with an animal parable told by Koriba to his sheep people in order to teach them the evils of European influence and the godliness of Koriba himself their deity Ngai Then something would happen in the village someone would attempt to think for themselves explore the forbidden technology or culture of Europe Or of the Kenyans from Earth which Koriba referred to as Black Europeans Koriba would declare them to be wrong and bully or blackmail tell them parables to show them the error of not doing as he says turning from the path of NgaiAnyway the final chapterstory is The Land of Nod and it brings the entire book full circle creating a satisfying and reasonable ending for the story as a whole Satisfying beginning satisfying ending HmmmLots of books can claim one or the other but both?So I thought about it At first I planned to give it a 2 star It seemed to fit the it's ok but I didn't really love it definition of a 2 star Or to be blunt didn't really like itBut I did At times I liked the story For I Have Touched the Sky uite a bit Had I read this by itself I would have been wow It was heartbreaking and touching and by the end of it I was view spoileroutraged at what happened to the sweet little girl hide spoiler


  5. Tom LA Tom LA says:

    I loved this book it reflects a lot of today's reality expecially our world's uick changes and its many conflicts between past and present An old scientist from Kenya desperate because the good old days of Kenya's uncontaminated tribal life have gone decides to recreate that world artificially on another planet Despite the futuristic concept this is not much of a science fiction book it's rather speculative fiction or a book of ideas The stories are interconnected and they are part of the same overarching narrative Elements of traditional Kenyan culture African poetry and some serious reflections on cultural changes are interwoven in this highly original work Some stories have a ingenuity that reminded me of Sherlock Holmes stories some others are truly moving The main charachter may result annoying and arrogant but by the end of the last story you also understand what the author thinks of his philosophy and everything makes a little sense At least it did to meA few years ago I wrote the author a note complimenting him and he cheerfully replied saying Thank you Check out what else I can do and he listed a few of his books


  6. Ryan Ryan says:

    The GoodThe writing is brilliant the story thought provoking and the setting and characters utterly vivid The ending is perfectThe BadIt’s as much a morality tale as a science fiction story so there is a mild undercurrent of preaching The story concerns a collective of 22nd century Kikuyu a Kenyan ethnic group nationalists who emigrate to their own terraformed world to live in the manner of their stone age ancestors This fact alone makes their motivations difficult to understand from the beginning Also the episodic nature of the novel detracts from its flow and pacing Lastly as far as I know Mike Resnick is not a member of the Kikuyu people so this book probably offends someone'Friends' character the protagonist is most likeKoriba is the visionary prophet of a past long dead He is single minded in his commitment to utopia and than a slight control freak just like Monica


  7. Becky Becky says:

    Kirinyaga is a collection of inter related short stories that center around a terraformed planet designed to be the new home of the Kikuyu tribe of Africa where they can live their lives in the old traditional way without interference from modern society I almost stopped reading this book 2 chapters stories technically into it Two main reasons for this 1 I really dislike parables They are usually obvious simplistic and preachy 2 I intensely dislike Koriba the main character Pressing on because I really did want to give this one a chance I did come to see that the parables tied into the story and it made sense I still felt that they were obvious simplistic and preachy but there was a kind of layering there that helped make them bearable within the stories The stories themselves were uite repetitive and I felt that the outcome for Kirinyaga was pretty obvious right from the start It was just how it would get there that was in uestion Coming back to Koriba Ugh Where to start? He's highly idealistic a Type A personality Hypocritical uncompromising hard to sympathize with and manipulative but very clever I feel like I would have enjoyed this story much if I had been able to identify with Koriba I understand the desire to maintain tradition and culture but the way that he went about it was so wrong to me that every time I would start to feel a shred of agreement with him he'd up the ante and I'd retreat again His ideal is rigidly maintaining the traditional Kikuyu lifestyle as interpreted and controlled by himself and never ever deviating even the slightest bit No matter the cost If people suffer they suffer If they die they die That's the Kikuyu way It was disgusting to see the extents that he would go to to prove his point I just couldn't understand him Not at all I'm a fan of compromise but he sees life in stark black and white terms He's very much a fan of the You're either with me or against me line There is no middle ground no room for anyone else to think or want anything because all that matters to Koriba is what he thinks and wants for Kirinyaga and for himself as the self proclaimed last true Kikuyu He pulls the strings and keeps the rest of the people ignorant and superstitiously fearful thinking that that's the only way to form a Kikuyu Utopia Perhaps if the story had been told from the perspective of a new inhabitant of Kirinyaga trying to adapt or even from Koriba's trainee I would have liked it better As it is I think it was interesting but could have been shorter and it definitely made me think


  8. Stacey Stacey says:

    uite by accident I've been reading a lot of stories about righteous people who do wrong things for what they believe are right reasons Some of these people reap the conseuences of their decisions and some do not Some see the error of their choices and a very few go on blindly believing that nobody else really understands only they can see that they are right and only they are able to interpret what is trueThe religion of my childhood referred to itself as The Truth As a child I trusted in everything that implied up to and including believing that there could be only one truth and not realizing that there are many such groups who call themselves by those precise words In The Truth there are many rules and the less thinking one does the following is possible People act like they are happy when they choose not to think But the truth is not The Truth and acting is not the same as being Among the many rules in my particular Truth were rules regarding whom could teach and whom could lead There were rules governing relationships permitted and proscribed activities gender roles clothing and possessions just as there is conformism in every society to a greater or lesser degree In my Truth to the greater degree there were also rules regarding treatment of those who did not keep to the other rules as well as instruction to repudiate any succumbed to independent thinkingKoriba the mundumugu a witch doctor and spiritual counselor tries to hold his people in the Utopia he helped to create to unreasoning rules and tradition which do not allow for personal growth and change and prevent cultural progress His reasons are clearly in protection of what he thinks is perfect justice and ideal society but he forgets to love the people in loving the ideas The stories are brilliant in their executionThese stories hurt my heart but they are cathartic too I lived in my own Kirinyaga I know what it means to walk to Haven


  9. Dawn C Dawn C says:

    I’m wavering between 4 and 5 stars This was an extremely fascinating and throught provoking story or should I say collection of stories or parables “For I have Touched the Sky” moved me deeply but not all stories were eually interesting or were as strong as that Together all of them formed a tale of a man with a vision of a utopia and his struggle against progress in the name of maintaining his dream It’s both sympathetic and provocative and you should experience it


  10. Bryan Thomas Schmidt Bryan Thomas Schmidt says:

    Yes yet another Resnick review from me Before I get to the actual review let me answer the inevitable resounding Whys? echoing from my many readers 2 3? I've lost count time for another census I started reading Resnick for two reasons 1 because after hearing he was a huge Africa fan who used his African experiences in his stories I looked him up noted our mutual interest in Africa and crosscultural writing and I got an email a few days later with a buttload yes that is an actual unit of measurement of attachments of his Africa short stories all of which were featured in major publications and all of which were either nominated for or had won awards 2 because he is the most published and awarded SF writer ever 3 because once I read one of his books I got hooked His prose style is similar to mine yeah right as if mine were this good and I love the way he writes powerful characters and situations and lets the uestions fly out of what develops Also whether or not they are answered is up to the readerSo that's why Resnick and I am not done yet but will be taking at least a one book pause to read my buddy Ken Scholes' Antiphon a because I have a copy a month ahead of its actual publication date; b because I promised to not only review it but participate in discussions with a readers' group; and c because I have been begging him for an early copy for a year since finishing the second in the series because the series is so freaking awesome it's painful to have to wait In fact sidebar if he could have just had the decency to put those twins off until he finished the series he could have taken a nice break from writing without so cruelly abandoning his fansOkay enough Resnick Scholes ranting Here's the reviewKirinyaga is the most award winning science fiction novel ever Some call it a collection of stories because Resnick wrote the chapters as short stories sold them won awards on them and then assembled the book but since together they create a coherent whole I disagree with that assessment This is a novel and no one story would truly be complete without the othersKirinyaga tells the story of Koriba a well intentioned Kikuyu man from Kenya who sets about to lead his people to set up their own traditional Utopia a planet named Kirinyaga after the holy mountain of their god Ngai on Kenya The goal of the settlers is to live the way their ancient ancestors lived with no European influence or niceties They will hunt and farm for their food live off the land in traditional bomas huts and rule their society with the traditional councils of Elders advised by the mundumugu KoribaThe story is really one of the best of intentions gone awry Koriba's desire is to preserve the sanctity of his people's ways but as time goes on and the original settlers die or age the new minds begin asking uestions not easily answered Things become even worse as his chosen successor is exposed to ideas through Koriba's own computer and begins uestions Koriba's ideas and the ways of his people publicly which leads others to do the sameWatching his utopia unravel along with his influence Koriba faces tough decisions and challenges about the futureThat's all I'll say to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn't actually discovered this yet but I will make some comments on Resnick's Africa stuff in generalOf the African works by him I've read this is the most blatant in adhering and examining their cultural traditions In books like Inferno Paradise and Purgatory Resnick used African history and a mix of traditions like metaphors to tell science fiction stories examining the larger human condition and particularly Westerner's attitudes and approaches to those of other cultures or worlds In other stories and books he has examined this from different angles but in this case he delves into African's own attitudes about their own worlds and traditions The same uestions and ideas which led to the real erosion of traditional African cultures arise again through these stories and lead the reader to examine why the erosion occurs in every culture and ask whether it's good or bad The answers are never black and white nor are they simple but they are worth askingResnick's prose is simple enough for even a ten year old to grasp but the uestions and ideas he posits with it are deeply rich and complex and may reuire several readings even for adults to unravel and fully fathom I know I have been reading and rereading and plan to do so again and if you want scifi that challenges your world view asks uestions and teaches you while still entertaining I highly recommend this stuff because it will reward you greatly for the effortFor what its worth


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10 thoughts on “Kirinyaga A Fable of Utopia

  1. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    Kirinyaga is what the locals tribes call Mount Kenya The distinction is important because it marks the refusal by the traditionalist Kikuyu to accept the Western values especially in view of the extensive environmental damage overpopulation and loss of cultural identity they are confronted with in the twenty second century So when new technological advances open up the Space for the creation of human colonies on carefully terraformed and climate controlled planetoids these tribesmen decide to leave Kenya and go live by the rules of their forefathers in a Utopian society among starsThe principal artisan of the movement is Koriba an elderly Western University educated Kikuyu the spiritual leader of the colonists and the liant that holds together the eight novellas included in this Mike Resnick collection The stories were published independently over than one decade but there is a chronological and logical progression in the study of a Utopian society that justifies the treatment of the sum of these episodes as a proper unitary novelI was first attracted to the title by its non Western source of inspiration and by the numerous genre awards the novellas have received over the years I have also admired another Mike Resnick story set in Africa addressing the nature of humanity as a whole Seven Views of the Olduvai Gorge Kiriniaga delivered on my expectations on multiple levels and the author’s boast that it is his best work seems justified The application of myths legends and parables in the description of he Kikuyu culture and the complete rejection of modern technology places the novel in the “soft” SF sociological study category and the issues tackled here – identity the individual needs versus the community needs sustainable development democracy versus tyranny reckless progress versus conservative stagnation traditional values versus freedom of thought globalization versus cultural diversity – have direct application to problems we are already confronting in the beginning of the third milleniumBecause the novellas were conceived to function both as stand alones and as stepping stones in the efforts of Koriba to create the perfect society for his people there is some overlap and repetition of themes Each episode begins with a parable about Ngai the supreme deity of the Kikuyu followed by the exposition of a current crisis Koriba has to defuse and ending with the moral the lesson of the day that the mundumugu wants to impart to his audiences What exactly is a mundumugu? You would call him a witch doctor But in truth the mundumugu while occasionally casts spells and interpret omens is a repository of the collected wisdom and traditions of his raceKoriba in his role of mundumugu assumes the mantle ultimate authority of judge and jury of every tresspassing against the racial traditions that he claims are the only road to follow for the creation of Utopia He wields the power of Ngai ironically through a computer screen communicating to climate control supervisors and when his parables are not enough to sway his villagers he is not shy of cursing the entire community until he gets his wishes1 One Perfect Morning With Jackals is the prologue describing the departure from a homeland where all the big game is extinct the sacred mount is now a megalopolis and the people have embraced fully the global culture Favorite uote To be thrown out of Paradise as were the Christian Adam and Eve is a terrible fate but to live beside a debased Paradise is infinitely worse 2 Kirinyaga is the first story set in the new lands and one of the most controversial because it asks the readers if a traditional population has the right to adhere to its superstitions and outdated rules In this case it is infanticide but you can expand the uestion to cannibalism scalping underage marriage Sharia circumcision or gay rights Koriba argues in favor of maintaining Kikuyu identity by any means necessary as the only society cabable of living in harmony with its environment3 For I Have Touched the Sky is my favorite story and it deals with access to knowledge and informed choices a theme that will be revisited later in the novel Here one of the smartest young girls in the village comes to work for Koriba and incidentally gains access to his computer She has a wonderful thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity but in a traditional Kikuyuy society women are restricted to fieldwork and housekeeping servants to the power of their menfolk Once a bird has ridden upon the winds he cannot live on the ground Do all birds die when they can no longer fly? Most do A few like the security of the cage but most die of broken hearts for having touched the sky they cannot bear to lose the gift of flight 4 Bwana deals with the problem of an agricultural pacifist society facing a warrior culture In this case a Masaai hunter is called to the village to help with hyena attacks against children only to refuse afterwards to leave bullying the locals into submitting to him as the leader of the pack Koriba needs all the cunning of his old tales to find a solution to get rid of the tyrant without appealing to the world’s supervisors What kind of Utopia permits children to be devoured by wild animals? You cannot understand what it means to be full until you have been hungry You cannot know what it means to be warm and dry until you have been cold and wet And Ngai knows even if you do not that you cannot appreciate life without death 5 The Manamouki uestions the welcoming of strangers inside the Kikuyu Utopia as a couple of immigrants come to Koriba’s village No matter how hard the Western woman tries to live by the rules of the Kikuyu she is not accepted by the other wives who look at her with envy and distrust There are many different notions of Utopia Kirinyaga is the Kikuyu’s 6 Song of a Dry River returns to the theme of women in a traditional society in this case Mumbi an old lady who is “put out to pasture” by the younger wives of her son but still feels the need to work and be useful The story also marks a turning point in our perception of Koriba from a benevolent if strict traditional ruler to a vengeful and petty tyrant who cannot brook any challenge to his absolute authority Can a society be considered Utopian if not all its members are happy to live in it? Perhaps there are no Utopias and we must each be concerned with our own happiness 7 The Lotus and the Spear is another take on the issue of the pursuit of happiness as Koriba is confronted with a series of suicides among young men who feel depressed by the lack of challenges and the lack of any real prospects for the future in the Utopian society they live in All that they have to look forward to is inheriting the house and the herds from their fathers marrying raising children and letting their women work the plots of land From time to time I cannot help wondering what must become of a society even a Utopia such as Kirinyaga where our best and our brightest are turned into outcasts and all that remains are those who are content to eat the fruit of the lotus 8 A Little Knowledge is about Koriba’s search for the next mundumugu the one who will carry the torch of his dreams to the next generation “I sought a boy who grasped the difference between facts which merely informed and parables which not only informed but instructed I needed a Homer a Jesus a Shakespeare someone who could touch men’s souls and gently guide them down the path that must be taken” He picks up Ndemi the brightest child in the village and spends years apprenticing him to the job only to discover that the boy is capable of reasoning by himself and doesn’t necessarily agrees with his master’s philosophy It was you who taught me how to think Koriba Would you have me stop thinking now just because I think differently than you do? 9 When The Old Gods Die describes the ultimate defeat of the Utopian dream of Koriba the final capitulaton of Ngai in front of progressive new ideas It is time for Koriba to recognize that his Utopia may be different from the Utopia desired by the rest of his Kikuyu community And a possible conclusion is that a perfect society cannot be frozen in time and must provide for new ways of thinking and new challenges You can direct change Koriba but you cannot prevent it and that is why Kirinyaga will always break your heart 10 The Land of Nod presents the inglorious return of Koriba to the Westernalized Kenya an outcast from his Utopian Kirinyaga a living anachronism that cannot unbend and see the positive sides of progress looking only at the destructive aspects of the new world Like one of the extinct animals that once ruled the savannah he must pass on into a mythical realm of legends like his once all powerful god Ngai The thing I had not realized is that a society can be Utopian for only an instant – once it reaches a state of perfection it cannot change and still be a Utopia and it is the nature of societies to grow and to evolve Highly recommended

  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    50 stars WOW This was an exceptional collection of inter connected short stories that should be seen as one complete story The cosmetic premise of the of the stories is about a group of 22nd century Kenyans unhappy with its evolution into another European city who emigrate to a planetary colony in order to live simply and in harmony with the land as their ancestors did The real or underlying premise of these stories are about the struggle of one person against the inevitability of progress and change This struggle is shown through the eyes of Koriba the colonies mundumugu ie holy man as he attempts to keep outside influences ideas and technologies from contaminating the culture of his people Many of these conflicts made it very difficult to sympathize with Koriba's position given my and presumably most readers Western viewpoint ie killing an infant because it is cursed leaving the elderly and infirm outside the village at night to be consummed by hyenas and refusing life saving medical services However even when we end up disagreeing with his position Resnick does a great job of making the reader see these issues through Koriba's eyes so that at least we understand him Not an easy thing to do and Resnick does it superbly The tale of Koriba and the colony of Kirinyaga are told in a series of connected short stories that when taken together is the most HONORED collection in terms of major and minor awards and nominations of short stories in the history of Science Fiction see below for list of MAJOR awards only This is definitely a worth while collection and a SUPERIOR achievement by a great author HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Table of ContentsOne Perfect Morning With Jackals Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award Kirinyaga Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus Award Voted to Locus All Time Best Short Story ListFor I Have Touched the Sky Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardBwana Nominee Locus AwardThe Manamouki Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardSong of a Dry River The Lotus and the Spear Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardA Little Knowledge Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardWhen the Old Gods Die Winner Locus Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Hugo AwardThe Land of Nod Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award

  3. Ivan Ivan says:

    One of the best books I read this year deservedly considered sci fi classic Actual review might come at some point later

  4. Chris Chris says:

    I was torn on this one I wanted to like it going in and was actually captivated by the opening story One Perfect Morning with Jackals That was a great introduction to the new world set up by the Eutopian Council clever name that called Kirinyaga an attempt to get back to the roots of the Kikuyu tribe of what we barbaric Europeans call KenyaAnd here's where the being torn comes in As I read story after story I realized that I didn't like the narrator Koriba At first I'd sympathized with him but after some of his rulings as mundumugu I wanted someone to leave him out for the hyenas Then I decided I didn't much care for the stories as a whole Each one started with an animal parable told by Koriba to his sheep people in order to teach them the evils of European influence and the godliness of Koriba himself their deity Ngai Then something would happen in the village someone would attempt to think for themselves explore the forbidden technology or culture of Europe Or of the Kenyans from Earth which Koriba referred to as Black Europeans Koriba would declare them to be wrong and bully or blackmail tell them parables to show them the error of not doing as he says turning from the path of NgaiAnyway the final chapterstory is The Land of Nod and it brings the entire book full circle creating a satisfying and reasonable ending for the story as a whole Satisfying beginning satisfying ending HmmmLots of books can claim one or the other but both?So I thought about it At first I planned to give it a 2 star It seemed to fit the it's ok but I didn't really love it definition of a 2 star Or to be blunt didn't really like itBut I did At times I liked the story For I Have Touched the Sky uite a bit Had I read this by itself I would have been wow It was heartbreaking and touching and by the end of it I was view spoileroutraged at what happened to the sweet little girl hide spoiler

  5. Tom LA Tom LA says:

    I loved this book it reflects a lot of today's reality expecially our world's uick changes and its many conflicts between past and present An old scientist from Kenya desperate because the good old days of Kenya's uncontaminated tribal life have gone decides to recreate that world artificially on another planet Despite the futuristic concept this is not much of a science fiction book it's rather speculative fiction or a book of ideas The stories are interconnected and they are part of the same overarching narrative Elements of traditional Kenyan culture African poetry and some serious reflections on cultural changes are interwoven in this highly original work Some stories have a ingenuity that reminded me of Sherlock Holmes stories some others are truly moving The main charachter may result annoying and arrogant but by the end of the last story you also understand what the author thinks of his philosophy and everything makes a little sense At least it did to meA few years ago I wrote the author a note complimenting him and he cheerfully replied saying Thank you Check out what else I can do and he listed a few of his books

  6. Ryan Ryan says:

    The GoodThe writing is brilliant the story thought provoking and the setting and characters utterly vivid The ending is perfectThe BadIt’s as much a morality tale as a science fiction story so there is a mild undercurrent of preaching The story concerns a collective of 22nd century Kikuyu a Kenyan ethnic group nationalists who emigrate to their own terraformed world to live in the manner of their stone age ancestors This fact alone makes their motivations difficult to understand from the beginning Also the episodic nature of the novel detracts from its flow and pacing Lastly as far as I know Mike Resnick is not a member of the Kikuyu people so this book probably offends someone'Friends' character the protagonist is most likeKoriba is the visionary prophet of a past long dead He is single minded in his commitment to utopia and than a slight control freak just like Monica

  7. Becky Becky says:

    Kirinyaga is a collection of inter related short stories that center around a terraformed planet designed to be the new home of the Kikuyu tribe of Africa where they can live their lives in the old traditional way without interference from modern society I almost stopped reading this book 2 chapters stories technically into it Two main reasons for this 1 I really dislike parables They are usually obvious simplistic and preachy 2 I intensely dislike Koriba the main character Pressing on because I really did want to give this one a chance I did come to see that the parables tied into the story and it made sense I still felt that they were obvious simplistic and preachy but there was a kind of layering there that helped make them bearable within the stories The stories themselves were uite repetitive and I felt that the outcome for Kirinyaga was pretty obvious right from the start It was just how it would get there that was in uestion Coming back to Koriba Ugh Where to start? He's highly idealistic a Type A personality Hypocritical uncompromising hard to sympathize with and manipulative but very clever I feel like I would have enjoyed this story much if I had been able to identify with Koriba I understand the desire to maintain tradition and culture but the way that he went about it was so wrong to me that every time I would start to feel a shred of agreement with him he'd up the ante and I'd retreat again His ideal is rigidly maintaining the traditional Kikuyu lifestyle as interpreted and controlled by himself and never ever deviating even the slightest bit No matter the cost If people suffer they suffer If they die they die That's the Kikuyu way It was disgusting to see the extents that he would go to to prove his point I just couldn't understand him Not at all I'm a fan of compromise but he sees life in stark black and white terms He's very much a fan of the You're either with me or against me line There is no middle ground no room for anyone else to think or want anything because all that matters to Koriba is what he thinks and wants for Kirinyaga and for himself as the self proclaimed last true Kikuyu He pulls the strings and keeps the rest of the people ignorant and superstitiously fearful thinking that that's the only way to form a Kikuyu Utopia Perhaps if the story had been told from the perspective of a new inhabitant of Kirinyaga trying to adapt or even from Koriba's trainee I would have liked it better As it is I think it was interesting but could have been shorter and it definitely made me think

  8. Stacey Stacey says:

    uite by accident I've been reading a lot of stories about righteous people who do wrong things for what they believe are right reasons Some of these people reap the conseuences of their decisions and some do not Some see the error of their choices and a very few go on blindly believing that nobody else really understands only they can see that they are right and only they are able to interpret what is trueThe religion of my childhood referred to itself as The Truth As a child I trusted in everything that implied up to and including believing that there could be only one truth and not realizing that there are many such groups who call themselves by those precise words In The Truth there are many rules and the less thinking one does the following is possible People act like they are happy when they choose not to think But the truth is not The Truth and acting is not the same as being Among the many rules in my particular Truth were rules regarding whom could teach and whom could lead There were rules governing relationships permitted and proscribed activities gender roles clothing and possessions just as there is conformism in every society to a greater or lesser degree In my Truth to the greater degree there were also rules regarding treatment of those who did not keep to the other rules as well as instruction to repudiate any succumbed to independent thinkingKoriba the mundumugu a witch doctor and spiritual counselor tries to hold his people in the Utopia he helped to create to unreasoning rules and tradition which do not allow for personal growth and change and prevent cultural progress His reasons are clearly in protection of what he thinks is perfect justice and ideal society but he forgets to love the people in loving the ideas The stories are brilliant in their executionThese stories hurt my heart but they are cathartic too I lived in my own Kirinyaga I know what it means to walk to Haven

  9. Dawn C Dawn C says:

    I’m wavering between 4 and 5 stars This was an extremely fascinating and throught provoking story or should I say collection of stories or parables “For I have Touched the Sky” moved me deeply but not all stories were eually interesting or were as strong as that Together all of them formed a tale of a man with a vision of a utopia and his struggle against progress in the name of maintaining his dream It’s both sympathetic and provocative and you should experience it

  10. Bryan Thomas Schmidt Bryan Thomas Schmidt says:

    Yes yet another Resnick review from me Before I get to the actual review let me answer the inevitable resounding Whys? echoing from my many readers 2 3? I've lost count time for another census I started reading Resnick for two reasons 1 because after hearing he was a huge Africa fan who used his African experiences in his stories I looked him up noted our mutual interest in Africa and crosscultural writing and I got an email a few days later with a buttload yes that is an actual unit of measurement of attachments of his Africa short stories all of which were featured in major publications and all of which were either nominated for or had won awards 2 because he is the most published and awarded SF writer ever 3 because once I read one of his books I got hooked His prose style is similar to mine yeah right as if mine were this good and I love the way he writes powerful characters and situations and lets the uestions fly out of what develops Also whether or not they are answered is up to the readerSo that's why Resnick and I am not done yet but will be taking at least a one book pause to read my buddy Ken Scholes' Antiphon a because I have a copy a month ahead of its actual publication date; b because I promised to not only review it but participate in discussions with a readers' group; and c because I have been begging him for an early copy for a year since finishing the second in the series because the series is so freaking awesome it's painful to have to wait In fact sidebar if he could have just had the decency to put those twins off until he finished the series he could have taken a nice break from writing without so cruelly abandoning his fansOkay enough Resnick Scholes ranting Here's the reviewKirinyaga is the most award winning science fiction novel ever Some call it a collection of stories because Resnick wrote the chapters as short stories sold them won awards on them and then assembled the book but since together they create a coherent whole I disagree with that assessment This is a novel and no one story would truly be complete without the othersKirinyaga tells the story of Koriba a well intentioned Kikuyu man from Kenya who sets about to lead his people to set up their own traditional Utopia a planet named Kirinyaga after the holy mountain of their god Ngai on Kenya The goal of the settlers is to live the way their ancient ancestors lived with no European influence or niceties They will hunt and farm for their food live off the land in traditional bomas huts and rule their society with the traditional councils of Elders advised by the mundumugu KoribaThe story is really one of the best of intentions gone awry Koriba's desire is to preserve the sanctity of his people's ways but as time goes on and the original settlers die or age the new minds begin asking uestions not easily answered Things become even worse as his chosen successor is exposed to ideas through Koriba's own computer and begins uestions Koriba's ideas and the ways of his people publicly which leads others to do the sameWatching his utopia unravel along with his influence Koriba faces tough decisions and challenges about the futureThat's all I'll say to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn't actually discovered this yet but I will make some comments on Resnick's Africa stuff in generalOf the African works by him I've read this is the most blatant in adhering and examining their cultural traditions In books like Inferno Paradise and Purgatory Resnick used African history and a mix of traditions like metaphors to tell science fiction stories examining the larger human condition and particularly Westerner's attitudes and approaches to those of other cultures or worlds In other stories and books he has examined this from different angles but in this case he delves into African's own attitudes about their own worlds and traditions The same uestions and ideas which led to the real erosion of traditional African cultures arise again through these stories and lead the reader to examine why the erosion occurs in every culture and ask whether it's good or bad The answers are never black and white nor are they simple but they are worth askingResnick's prose is simple enough for even a ten year old to grasp but the uestions and ideas he posits with it are deeply rich and complex and may reuire several readings even for adults to unravel and fully fathom I know I have been reading and rereading and plan to do so again and if you want scifi that challenges your world view asks uestions and teaches you while still entertaining I highly recommend this stuff because it will reward you greatly for the effortFor what its worth

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