Cards of Grief

Cards of Grief Jane Yolen s award winning story about an alien civilization forever changed by the incursion of human social scientists and a mysterious ancient prophecyThe year is when members of the Anthropol

  • Title: Cards of Grief
  • Author: Jane Yolen
  • ISBN: 9780441091669
  • Page: 371
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Jane Yolen s award winning story about an alien civilization forever changed by the incursion of human social scientists and a mysterious ancient prophecyThe year is 2132 when members of the Anthropologist s Guild set down on the planet Henderson s IV, or L Lal lor as it is known to the native population Charged with the nonintrusive study of alien cultures, the crew discJane Yolen s award winning story about an alien civilization forever changed by the incursion of human social scientists and a mysterious ancient prophecyThe year is 2132 when members of the Anthropologist s Guild set down on the planet Henderson s IV, or L Lal lor as it is known to the native population Charged with the nonintrusive study of alien cultures, the crew discovers a society containing no love or laughter It is, instead, centered around death a world of aristocratic and common folk in which grieving is an art and the cornerstone of life But the alien civilization stands on the brink of astonishing change, heralded by the discovery of Linni, the Gray Wanderer, a young woman from the countryside whose arrival has been foretold for centuries And for Anthropologist First Class Aaron Spenser, L Lal lor is a place of destructive temptations, seducing him with its mysterious, sad beauty, and leading him into an unthinkable criminal act.Told from the shifting viewpoints of characters both alien and human, and through records of local lore and transcripts of court martial proceedings, Cards of Grief is a thoughtful, lyrical, and spellbinding tale of first contact It is a true masterwork of world building from Jane Yolen, a premier crafter of speculative fiction and fantasy.

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      Posted by:Jane Yolen
      Published :2021-02-13T21:05:50+00:00

    About "Jane Yolen"

    1. Jane Yolen

      Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children s book author who has written than three hundred books Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire Born and raised in New York City, the mother of three and the grandmother of six, Yolen lives in Massachusetts and St Andrews, Scotland.

    568 thoughts on “Cards of Grief”

    1. Haunting and lyrical, Cards of Grief is a unique book, unlike any I've read before. Told out of order in as a series of recordings and interviews, the story of first contact between the planet Henderson's IV and the Anthropologist's Guild is recounted. The people on Henderson's IV base their society around grieving, and the author creates a well-developed, interesting and alien culture. The inhabitants have a very different way of looking at life and death and as one of the anthropologists is dr [...]

    2. I was in the mood for anthropological sci-fi and this delivered, with sparse but evocative depictions of a society whose values and morals are just far enough from ours to be disquieting. The short and fragmented nature of the book means individual characters don't get much opportunity to show depth, but neither do they quite vanish into the archtypes that the Cards designate for them. (The Cards themselves are one element I wish had gotten greater (or no) attention, as they show up toward the e [...]

    3. Outstanding science fiction novel by one of my favorite authors. While browsing the online catalog at my local library, I noticed that several of Jane Yolen's books had recently been republished in electronic form by Open Road Media , so I borrowed Cards of Grief thinking that it would be a "nice" read. I mean after all -- this science fiction novel was awarded the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Yeah -- I wasn't so sure about a cross-over SF/F novel. I tend to like the ones that are clearly Science F [...]

    4. This book brought me to tears by the end- primarily because of the subject, the end of life and the loss of loved ones, and also because most of the main characters had so little joy in their lives. But despite the subject it was not depressing, it was beautiful.

    5. A Jane Yolen that reads like an Ursula K. LeGuin, how curious! Of course, it doesn't actually read like an Ursula LeGuin, it merely resembles her greatly in form; the book is presented in the form of a series of documents, recordings, and debriefings, concerning the contact of anthropologists (xenologists?) with the people on the planet L'Lal'loria. The book explores their "grief-centred culture [which is:] as much art as religion," and Lina-Lania, chief griever to the Queen.I'm just going to ge [...]

    6. I keep meaning to read more of Jane Yolen, so when I found this little volumn at Half Price Books I snatched it up. It's relatively short but rather engrossing. Very reminiscent of Ursula LeGuin's anthropological space opera novels, Yolen brings her own very interesting perspective and style to the first contact story. The story centers on the first human studies and interactions with a humanoid culture that is centered around grief (although not death); I found it very interesting in deliberate [...]

    7. I've read this book several times, enjoying to poetry of the writing, the uniqueness of charactor, the wonderful alien culture. But it wasn't until this last reading that I fully followed the story. This time, I read the chapters in the order listed in the timeline and fully followed the storyline. Then I read it again from beginning to end. Jane Yolen is often considered a children's or young adult author. The simplicity of style is deceptive.The themes in this story of love, betrayal, death an [...]

    8. I'm at a loss for words after finishing this piece. I don't think I could find the words to describe the book either, even if I gave myself a week to think it through. It was such a special journey, one I enjoyed the entire way through although I was not sure what to expect at first.It certainly contains a lot more poetic feeling than science fiction in some sense, but it's not the dry and perhaps rather presumptuous type of poetry that at least I have encountered countless of times during my li [...]

    9. Jane Yolen's first novel for adults. Probably not her most polished work, but definitely an interesting concept.

    10. I have had this book on my Kindle for years. I bought it because it was on sale a long time ago and it sounded really good, but then other books caught my attention more than this one. The only reason I picked up this book at this point was because a colleague in my department suggested we participate in a informal book club. The idea behind the book club is the read things that we wouldn't normally read--trying to stretch ourselves in our reading habits. So, I got to choose the first book, and [...]

    11. This book is beautiful, sad, and strange.I didn't even know Jane Yolen had written any novels for adults until I found this the other day. It reminds me a lot of some of Le Guin's works, like Always Coming Home -- and how could that ever be a bad thing?Cards of Grief is a very short SF novel about first contact told via recordings and interviews, of a matriarchal planet that has essentially perfected grief. And nothing else. Their lives revolve around grief. Naturally, one of the anthropologists [...]

    12. Jane Yolen writes a wonderful adult scifi. Is there anything she can’t do? Through recordings and interviews, this is the story of humans first contact with a planet whose culture revolves around grieving. The study was unfortunately tainted by anthropologist Aaron Spenser, who is under review for Culture Contact Contamination and has gone native.Through revealing Spenser’s mistakes, the novel must first explain the backstory — beginning as prince B’oremos discovers prodigy griever Lina- [...]

    13. A most original fantasy by an author of the status of Ursula LeGuin and Patricia McKillip. The book explores sexuality, culture, and minds unlike ours. It's a grief driven culture with no passion or laughter. Grief for the L'Lal'lorians is a way of remembering. There is no war, no infanticide, little murder except when ordered by the ruler, and no theft. Cards of Grief is a most interesting read that is haunting, almost dirge-like in its simplicity as gathers momentum towards tragedy. I liked it [...]

    14. A beautiful and poetic book. I think Jane Yolen is a wonderful writer. The idea of a culture that centered on grieving was fascinating but I didn't think the intersection with technological humans and such a society was worked out very well. I just don't think the characters acted in character. The "military" seemed a bit too forgiving of the "interference" be the protagonist and the "griever" seemed to be less rounded than I would have expected. The "betrayals" were just a bit too contrived as [...]

    15. This is a book about how first contact changes both the people who are contacted by anthropologists and the anthropologists themselves. The brief book is written in unusual style, and a lot of information is conveyed in this brief novel. I really enjoyed this book, and it shows the range of an author whose only other book I'm familiar with is "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight" which I read to my daughter when she was small.

    16. This is one of those SF books that's sort of a fantasy book. The genre was popular for a while, but of course I can't come up with another example at the moment. (It's on the edge of my mind, which I'm sure doesn't help either of us.)In any case. If you like the sort of elliptical, dreamy, Ursula LeGuin style, this might be up your alley. It felt dated to me, I guess in its gender issues.So. I finished it, but I can't in good conscience recommend it.

    17. 3 starsI loved this book when I read it years ago. I didn't love it so much now. While it's an interesting book, I thought the world building was slim, and was frustrated that we only heard briefly from Gray's POV. Still, it's a quick read, so if you can borrow from your local library, it's worth a check out

    18. So far this is a really interesting sci fi. It's based around people from future Earth studding a culture that instead of focusing on materials or sex focuses on grieving because they don't believe in an afterlife. The only way a person will be remembered is by the elaborate rituals in place and the songs people write and sing.

    19. There's something so fascinating and oddly plausible about the idea of a culture that revolves around grief. I loved the combination of science fiction and fantasy in this book, and I thought it was beautifully written. The author has mostly written for children, and unfortunately this is apparently her only sci-fi novel, but I'm definitely going to search out her other adult books.

    20. I read this book many years ago and have just picked it up again after quite a hiatus. It's every bit as extraordinary and unique as I remember. Vivid imagery, solid characters a pleasure to read now as it was then.

    21. A little confusing in the beginning but then the story unfolded nicely. Strong characters, beautiful prose. The culture is a little bit too fantasy for my taste (it's SF!) but believable. I just love the ending.

    22. This is a strange book. It is filled with interesting ideas but it always feels distant and disconnected, not because of the "recordings" format, but because of something else missing. I never felt drawn to any of the characters.

    23. Such a delicate story on some ways, but with a core of steel. I had read only Jane Yolen books for kids before This is a remarkable story. I think I liked how it was told better than anything else about it, though it was all excellent.

    24. I haven't read this in a long time but I know I liked it a lot and re-read it many times. I should give it a try again.

    25. 3.5 starsReally interesting "alien" culture in this book - very unique. It made for an interesting read, though in some ways I wanted more from the story.

    26. Vaguely Ursula Le Guinish in format and very, very pretty in style, and rather interesting in content I just wish it had been a bit meatier.

    27. This book reminded me a bit of The Handmaid's Tale in its style and organization, and some of the later parts of the Ender series in content. I recommend it.

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