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Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang Broché – 6 décembre 1984

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4,2 étoiles sur 5 63 commentaires provenant des USA

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Présentation de l'éditeur

The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then? --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Quatrième de couverture

Introduction by Lisa Tuttle

The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases, and, above all, the increasing sterility of the population all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachians gives them the ideal place to survive the coming meltdown, and their wealth gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then?

'Superb' THE ENCYLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION

'If all SF was as finely crafted as Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, we'd have great cause to rejoice' VECTOR

Kate Wilhelm (1928-)

Kate Wilhelm has won many awards for her writing, including the Hugo for Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. She has also been influential beyond her writing through the Milford Science Fiction Writers' Conference, founded by her late husband, Damon Knight.

978 0 575 07914 4
£7.99

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5 63 commentaires
2.0 étoiles sur 5 "Clones will kill the human race because they can't solve problems." 4 mars 2017
Par Zabed Monika - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I'm a big fan of feminist science fiction (including the writing of Ursula K. LeGuin, Linda Nagata, Maureen McHugh, and Margaret Atwood) so I really wanted to like Kate Wilhelm's highly regarded 1970s novel about cloning. Sadly, there are so many holes in the author's plot lines and premises that it was hard for me to finish the book. Spoilers begin: Among the many questionable choices Wilhelm makes is her assumption that a "plague" will kill almost all humans and all large animals - except the livestock on the main characters' farm. Glaciers sweep across the entire Eastern USA in 100 years - yet growing food on their farm is unaffected. The central premise of the novel hinges on fundamental differences between cloned and naturally born humans. Clones, it seems, are essentially a single entity with one group mind. They can feel each others emotions yet have no empathy for non-clones. They also have no curiosity or creatively and quite literally can solve no new problems. While cloning had not yet been achieved when Wilhelm wrote her novel, identical twins were, as now, reasonably common. Twins - who share DNA with their siblings, just as human clones will - have more in common than non-twins but do not lack in creativity or empathy.

Wilhelm barely touches on a much more realistic scenario of cloning: creating classes of humans bred for specific tasks. Plot holes and shaky logic aside, I might still have enjoyed the novel had she created engaging and nuanced characters. Unfortunately, Wilhelm's characters are so one-dimensional that only their given monikers distinguish them. It is almost as if Wilhelm wrote the novel to make one and only one point: "Clones will kill the human race because they can't solve problems."
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The story of how, in the not too distant future, the ability to propagate the sheer proliferation of boy bands will save us all 12 août 2015
Par Michael Battaglia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Living in a world where everyone looks like you and your four or five closest friends is probably the dream of an extreme narcissist (or a certain family that currently stars in a reality TV series) but it probably presents a multitude of problems beyond trying to coordinate who wears what outfits on which day and how to get someone who likes the same stuff as you a surprising birthday present. The idea of cloning is something that has seemed less like SF with each passing year but even though we've had some success with sheep and dogs and whatnot, we're still a decent ways off from creating a viable human clone. But in the 1970s cloning was definitely something you really only saw in SF and while you had scenarios where old rich people created clones of themselves to harvest organs so they could bwah-ha-ha live forever (or create armies, although if your clones grow at an ordinary wait, you're really looking into the long game unless you figure out a way to take over using homicidal infants) there were plenty of instances where authors looked at the moral or ethical implications of cloning and how that would impact humanity in the future, changing our perceptions and definitions on what it means to be human.

Wilhelm's novel (a Hugo winner for that year as well as a Nebula nominee) isn't so much a look at those elements as extrapolating the concept of cloning and trying to figure out if it's a good idea or not when in the service of keeping mankind alive in one form or another. Here we have an Earth in the not-so far future where climate changes due to pollution are starting to make food very scarce, and while the government is insisting everything is a-ok even as all the McDonald's start to go out of business, a group of scientists is realizing that a lack of food and rampant infertility is going to send humanity to hang out in whatever existential waiting room holds the dinosaurs and passenger pigeons (the latter probably looking forward to the opportunity to go "See how it feels, suckers?") and the only way out is to create a bunch of clones to keep the species going. As far as long shots go, I've heard worse.

While the story touches on the environmental issues, a couple of folks have mentioned Wilhelm's choice of drama over sound ecological theory (if nothing else, the elimination of nearly all animals would send almost any ecosystem into a downward spiral of a tailspin that would take forever to recover from, if it ever did) and while it underscores the proceedings, her focus is really on the concept of cloning and how clones would develop in this new world as humanity seeks to rebuild itself. She structures the story as a three-part linked series that could almost stand as novellas on their own (the first ends in such a way that the whole book feels like a short story that she went and expanded on), with characters from the previous story taking the lead in another section as the years go on, giving the novel a slight sense of sweep, although we're not talking about hundreds of years going by, more like decades.

To that end, Wilhelm explores the evolution of a future society filled with clones and how that society would might revolve around a preference for more clones versus natural births and if society would start to stratify in the process. Her focus seems to be on whether by making tons more copies of ourselves if we would start to lose our individuality, with future people forming tight knit groups that are dependent on each other, a sense of community that come out at the expense of things like innovation or even self-preservation. Her depiction of the lengths a future society would go to keep things just the way they like it never goes as far as Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" (although one section comes close, but the aims of the two novels are quite different) but her insights into the mindset clones might have in terms of what they'd prefer make for interesting tensions, especially when pockets of individuality start to crop up and disrupt things.

She has a way of making a story that consists almost entirely of Asimovian levels of action (i.e. none) move very quickly, with the arguments keeping the story in constant motion and yet never making the story dry . . . for all the science that flies around, the story never loses its sense of humanity and the emotions at stake here, never shying away from the cost of living in a society where everyone has a best friend who looks just like them and what it means for everyone else reacting to someone who likes to do absolutely crazy things like go for walks by themselves. It winds up turning into a debate of individuality versus the good of the collective, but unfortunately she stacks the deck more than slightly, not only extrapolating the problems of the clones into lengths that sometimes come across as absurd but by making the remaining clones go to sometimes villainous lengths to keep society just the way they like it, and clearly showing the benefits of being the lone gun versus being bogged down in fiddly groupthink.

But even with those problems there's still a weight to the science (necessary when you're doing a story about humanity running out of food that doesn't involve the food being you or the raw power of Matthew McConaughey's abs saving the world) and a quiet sweep to the proceedings that borders on elegance, the feel of a world shaking off the damage that was done to it, settling down for a somber nap to heal and allowing us to finally realize how large the world truly is and how small we are faced with the expanse of it, an expanse that's humbling whether we face it with numbers in the hundreds or the millions, and a reminder that if we treat each other properly we don't stand alone even when the face next to us isn't the same as ours. If anything, it's a reason to stand ever nearer.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Well-deserved 1977 Hugo Award Winner 23 juillet 2016
Par Martyn Wheeler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
For those who think there were no significant female authors in SF in the 20th Century -- and I have actually read articles that essentially say that female-written SF is a New Thing in the 2010s -- you should explore Kate Wilhelm (and C. J. Cherryh, Ursula LeGuin, and one of my personal favorites, James Tiptree Jr. (a.k.a Alice Sheldon)). Her Hugo Award-winning "Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" is a good place to start. Themes and technologies that ring as true today as in the 70s, a logical progression of viewpoint characters, and an epic of whether humanity can survive what we're doing to the world. Brilliant.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not One Of The Better PA Stories That I Have Read 3 septembre 2015
Par wooster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A small scientific community in the mountains of western Virginia survives some kind of world-wide post apocalyptic event. The story is never very clear about the PA event, but humanity seems to be pretty much wiped out by it, leaving only these scientists and their experiments (human cloning). The society that develops from this community is caste at two levels: the clones evolve as the ruling class with biologic humans as their worker bees.

This seems like a very good idea for a PA story, but nothing in this book is developed very well….I mean NOTHING! I could never clearly visualize any of the scenarios or relate to anything or anyone in the book.

The story quickly goes through several confusing generations of characters until it finally settles on a specific era (about halfway into the book). Up to that point, once you become a little familiar with a main character……he (or she) just walks off into the forest never to be heard from again.

The second half of the story centers on one biological boy and his experiences as he works his way through this society. In the end, he just walks off too. I was hoping that he would meet-up with the other characters that had walked off (like his parents and grandfather), so we could find out what had happened to them….no such luck though.

I’ve read a bunch of PA stories and this is not one of the better ones. Can’t believe it’s an award winner.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A classic! 8 avril 2014
Par cathairetic - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I read this when it wss first published and and re-read it many times since. It's about a wealthy family in Virgina that, seeing the state of the world's economy and the uneasy relationships between the major powrrs, created a safe refuge for its membrrs when the collaspe came. Soon it is apparent that humanity is becoming infertile. Because some of the patriarchs are medical doctors and/or scientists they are able to devise a method of cloning themselves and growing these children ex-utero. What happens as the generations pass is a compelling story. Highly, highly recommended.
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