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Book Log 35/2013 - Zenna Henderson: Ingathering - The Complete People Stories

This is a collection of stories, all but one first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from the early 50s to the mid 70s. The People are aliens who escaped the destruction of their own planet and crash landed in the American southwest just before the turn of the century. There's a deep sense of place. The stories are largely concerned with the way the people (fully human in appearance though possessing powers) make an effort to blend in with humanity, mostly in their own little isolated town, without attracting the attention of fearful and ignorant neighbours.

The original short stories were tacked together with a framing narrative to produce two separate book length narratives, both are included here.

The People are supposed to be 'like us at our best' and there's little here in the way of flashbang adventure or even grim conflict. These are of their time, gentle stories of gentle people. Some of them contain great sadness (overcome) and there's a pervading aura of melancholy.

These were recommended to me by a friend and I can see why she likes them so much, but for me a little goes a long way.


I *love* the People stories. The first one I encountered was one of the most tragic -- "Pottage" -- and it was years before I found there were more in the series.

It also took me a long time before I realized they were also heavily Christian works in their essence if not in detail.
They are certainly very moralistic.
blue eyes

April 2017



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