All the Time in the World

My taste in reading material is wide and varied: SF/fantasy/"speculative fiction", mysteries (police procedurals, mostly), history, fanfic, straight fiction, smutty vampire books, biographies, poetry, cereal boxes, assembly instructions, the fine print, and your mind.

Enchantress from the Stars

Enchantress from the Stars - Sylvia Engdahl, Lois Lowry Enchantress from the Stars has the tone and depth of a young adult novel, but the treatment was so unusual it held my interest. It tells portions of the same story from the viewpoints, and in the voices, of three different races: As told by the natives of the unnamed planet setting, it's a fairy tale in which the several sons of a poor woodcutter each go out to defeat the "dragon" that lives on the far side of the Enchanted Wood; in the voice of a colonizing force of space-faring people, it's a simple space opera, pitting their mechanistic worldview against an untamed wilderness (including the ground-clearing equipment the natives believe is the dragon) and the aboriginal inhabitants of the land (who aren't viewed as human, and so will be confined to a reservation where they can be "managed" - remind anyone of Avatar?); and finally, from the viewpoint of a highly-advanced race of space travelers whose primary cause is preventing anyone from interfering with the normal development of "younger" races - and simultaneously avoiding such interference themselves - necessitating an elaborate performance to convince several natives that these visitors are actually powerful magicians who will help them defeat the dragon and win the king's rewards.

Written in 1970, it was reissued in 2001 to accolades from many authors who remember the book fondly from its first publication. It's not, as one writer put it, "the best book ever", but it's a different way of handling a story, and a fun read overall.