20 Oct 2021

Kalpa Imperial

Kalpa Imperial, Angelica Gorodischer tr. Ursula Le Guin

Should have been better. Very imaginative. Very epic. But just kind of overall bored.

It's strange because I have previously noticed that I like when Ursula Le Guin—when she is an author and not translating as here—is actually great when she's boring. By that I mean that there is something both powerful and peaceful in her the slowness and calm with which she treats her alien characters, themes and landscapes. In Kalpa however, while I see a very close match in Gorodischer and Le Guin's styles, I feel a remoteness that fails to let me be captivated by the story. It kind of feels like Gorodischer expects me to know her planet without telling me enough about it.

It's too bad, because it is a book of scale more staggering than I have seen elsewhere.