I remember reading a book in high school about a young primitive human, on a planet during an ice age, that was filmed from a space station in orbit, that was sending the captured footage back to somewhere else, so that it could be turn into a tv show a thousand year later when the signal would arrive.

I remember that the age of the human was given in years of the planet he was living on, that were far longer than Earth's years. The action took place during an ice age reaching its end by the end of the book, that covered a long period of the life of the protagonist. Also I remember weird zebra like mount with an unusual colour. And maybe giant digging worm thingy ? Not sure about that one.

Does anyone know what that book could be ?

1 Answer 1


I believe you are thinking of the Helliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss.

Specifically the point about beaming broadcasts back to Earth is by the Avernus:

The massive space station Avernus is visible from the surface of Helliconia as a bright, fast-moving star. There are thousands of probes and other monitoring devices down on the planet, providing scientific readings, video pictures, etc., which Avernus collects and transmits on to Earth.

The long Ice Age coming to an end and a primitive hunter would be indicative of the book Helliconia Spring, the first in the trilogy.

Late winter. Phagors are dominant. Most Humans live in primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, the few civilised areas are governed harshly. Yuli and his father Alehaw travel far from their family to hunt during an annual migration but are attacked by Phagors and Alehaw is taken as a slave

However, the worm creature would be in Helliconia Summer, the second book in the trilogy. Though in the digging stage they go to Helliconia Winter, the third book in the trilogy.

The most memorable is the Wutra's Worm, an immense creature whose life span matches the great year, the Helliconia equivalent of a dragon. In the summer the young worms fly in the air, and in the winter the now-wingless mature worms live in a great network of tunnels beneath the surface.

  • Yes , that's the one ! Thank you so much :D ! The zebra mount thing is a hoxney. I think I might have read some sort of collection of the trilogy, because the storyline of the three books seems all very familiar.
    – Malypense
    Nov 21, 2015 at 18:40
  • Glad I could help. Yes, I should have mentioned the colorful hoxney as a match as well.
    – beichst
    Nov 22, 2015 at 19:41

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