8

I am trying to remember the name of a sci-fi / fantasy / alternate universe story (which is part of a series or related to other works from the same author) I read years ago.

The story is from the perspective of an person/entity from an advanced civilization visiting an earth-like planet to track the progress of the primitive, human-like civilization that the advanced folks are keeping tabs on as the primitives develop. From the perspective of the narrator the primitive humans are seen to be straying off course and are not following the guidance of the advanced beings (the primitives are not maintaining these resonating rock formations which allow them to stay "in tune" with the advanced civilization, are becoming emotional and developing bad "human" like traits like greed, anger etc.).

The narrator laments that the primitives are becoming misguided, as he travels around the Earth-like planet. The story describes how the narrator travels to and from the Earth-like planet from his home planet.

The name of the story is, I believe

"_____ of _____"

with the names being completely invented. There are several books by the author in the same 'universe'. I would say that the story would be similar to something written from the perspective of Keanu Reeves in "The Day the Earth Stood Still".

  • 2
    Could this be Doris Lessing's Canopus in Argos series? In particular, this is reminiscent of elements of the first book, Shikasta, and the third, The Sirian Experiments. – Daniel Roseman Mar 17 '18 at 16:16
  • @DanielRoseman The tone of the description seems a bit off... the folks from Canopus were super big on compassion, not so much on tsk-tsk-ing... – Lexible Mar 17 '18 at 16:54
  • Some of the details seem a bit off, but could it be Iain M. Banks' "State of the Art", set in his Culture universe? It involves a mission to 'assess' Earth but there's nothing about trying to guide humanity through Stonehenge nor is there much happening on the home planets of the visitors, just the Earth and a ship in orbit. – starpilotsix Mar 17 '18 at 17:42
  • 1
    @DanielRoseman Shikasta from the Canopus in Argos series is it! Amazing that you got it from my terrible description! Thank you!! – user97948 Mar 17 '18 at 23:04
4

As discussed in the comments, this is Shikasta, from Doris Lessing's series Canopus in Argos. From Wikipedia:

Canopus, a benevolent galactic empire centred at Canopus in the constellation Argo Navis, colonises a young and promising planet they name Rohanda (the fruitful). They nurture its bourgeoning humanoids and accelerate their evolution. When the Natives are ready, Canopus imposes a "Lock" on Rohanda that links it via "astral currents" to the harmony and strength of the Canopean Empire. [...]

Then an unforeseen "cosmic re-alignment" puts Rohanda out of phase with Canopus which causes the Lock to break. Deprived of Canopus's resources and a steady stream of a substance called SOWF (substance-of-we-feeling), the Natives develop a "Degenerative Disease" that puts the goals of the individual ahead of those of the community. [...]

In an attempt to salvage Canopus's plans for Shikasta and correct the Natives' decline, Canopean emissaries are sent to the planet. Johor is one such emissary, who takes on the form of a Native and begins identifying those individuals who have not degenerated too far and are amenable to his corrective instructions.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.