Quakers leave the dying earth in a generation ship, then arrive at a new planet many generations later and have to decide what to do. I’m feeling a certain fondness towards the book, even though very little happens in the grand scheme of things. It’s mostly an exploration of individuals and their role in groups, in something similar-to-but-not-quite functional anarchy.
It’s slow and zooms in on people and emotions and what to do about them. In a very free, but very bunched up together society, there are still plenty of ways for people to be broken, or petty, or lazy (but never, it seems, malicious). There are committees and big assemblies, and people getting tired of either and suggesting something more like democracy, and a lot of very good, surprisingly (or not, given the group’s origin) spiritual consideration. And that’s without pushing religion too hard, as the book realistically shows religion changing, atheist groups developing etc.
Big Ursula K. le Guin vibes! I was dithering between 3 and 4 stars here, and had there been a bit more conclusion, or a bit more … more? I’d have come down on the 4-star side.
This book is part of the 2022 Backlog Incident.
Beware: full spoilers! Also probably incomplete and possibly incomprehensible.
Quakers leave the dying earth in a generation ship, then arrive at a new planet many generations later and have to figure out what to do. People die on the expedition there, and the community is torn on what to do: stay on the comfortable ship or go to the new world.