Reviews of Planet of Exile (1966)
Review by spiphany (2005-07-04)
A slim volume set in Le Guin's Hainish universe. It's a quick read, not too heavy or too preachy, and with an interesting setting. There's also a connection to her later novel "City of Illusions" which I hadn't realized when I picked the book up, but was neat to learn more about Ramarren/Falk's world which we get glimpses of in that novel.
One of the themes Le Guin explores here is the question of how to adapt to an alien environment, both culturally and biologically. She returns to this idea (more successfully, I think) in her powerful short story "The Eye Altering". While "The Eye Altering" deals with the purely physical changes which must take place before we can feel at home on an alien planet, "Planet of Exile" has a bit of a different spin on it, examining the necessity of a cultural exchange between the natives and the colonists.