SF Ghetto: "Canopus in Argos: Archives" by Doris Lessing

Canopus in Argos: Archives - Doris Lessing

(Original Review, 1980-09-29)

League for the purity of what?

An admittedly less-than-thorough examination of Lessing's work leads me to conclude that her primary faults are bad (i.e., clumsy, awkward, [difficult without the extra levels that make Joyce, etc. difficult]) writing, excessive moralizing, and trite plotting with no refreshing elements (SHIKASTA in particular strongly resembles what Bova called the "tomato surprise story"). On the other hand, I admit that I've never been very impressed with Stapledon, either; I'll acknowledge that this may be a matter of taste while observing that various mundane reviewers also seem unimpressed with the Canopus Archives. In fact, I expect that most "hardcore SF fans" (however few of them are left) will simply ignore Lessing.

This review was changed from 2 stars (1980) to 5 stars (1993).



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.