I remember that it's a series by Ursula Le Guin, who I adore, but I can't remember the title and find the books.

It's a collection of connected histories of three planets in different systems. There is a war, someone tries to turn off, someone tries to turn on.

A young officer has to go. He goes into his spaceship with his whole family for a voyage in hibernation lasting maybe 1000 years. His mother doesn't want to go. She says behind alone, though with a plant. In time she discovers strange beings and learns to communicate with them. They don't want to speak to anyone else, so she becomes their ambassador. She dies, happy and honored, while her son still hasn't reached his destination.

Please help me remember.

  • Very thanks and sorry for my bad English. But actually I'm not sure that this book was by Ursula Le Guin. Just it seems to me so. Apr 27, 2013 at 1:08
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    I think it's the Ekumen series or something like that. They were also called the [Hainish Cycle](The Hainishhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainish_Cycle) I think. After reading the body of your question, I may guessing the wrong saga or something. Apr 27, 2013 at 1:10
  • "The Day of Atonement" is the first. I tried variously in that series but no luck. I'll try again, thank you. Apr 27, 2013 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


It could be the first three books of Le Guin's Hainish cycle. Although the stories are separate, they all concern the League of All Worlds, of which Earth (known as Terra) is a member.

In Rocannon's World, the planets of the League are preparing for a war with invaders making their way across the galaxy toward Earth.

In Planet of Exile, the main characters are human descendants of explorers from Earth, stranded on a faraway planet because the war broke out just after the explorers' arrival.

In the third, City of Illusions, the invaders have long controlled Earth, and a descendant of the main character from Planet returns to Earth. It doesn't involve the woman with the plant, but everything else seems to match up.


If it is Le Guin, it might be Four Ways to Forgiveness, which is four linked stories in a single volume. It's part of the Hainish Cycle, but pretty much stands alone. There are three planets (Hain, and two in a single solar system), and one of the stories does concern the Hainish ambassador who has a long voyage to arrive.

  • It could be that. I'll try to check. Thank you. Apr 29, 2013 at 19:29
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    Maybe 'Remnant Population' by Elizabeth Moon.People had always told Ofelia what to do; for once she was going to do what she wanted. She refused to get on the cryo ships. And when they finally came for her, she hid.Now Ofelia is alone, the only remaining settler on the planet.Then new settlers arrive. At first she fears they have come to reoccupy the settlement she has come to think of as hers - but they land far away. And as Ofelia secretly listens, they are slaughtered to the last child by stone-age aliens no one knew were there.Now it is up to Ofelia to save the aliens from Earth's wrath "
    – sueelleker
    Aug 23, 2014 at 19:20

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