On Helliconia, where one year lasts two and a half thousand earth years and winter is seven centuries long, snow is falling. As Helliconia moves on its elliptical path away from the warmth of the sun Freyr, crops fail; and the growing harshness of the climate is matched by the harshness of government under the Oligarch. Now too, mankind's ancient enemies, the phagors, begin to leave their mountain fastnesses to war upon human civilization.
Here is a magical story of journeys, strange transformations, and the world of events that paralyze or alter the lives of men and women. It is the story of a great battle, whose victors are betrayed and exterminated. The story of a beautiful woman who falls into the hands of her husband's slayer. The story of Luterin Shokerandit, who undertakes a pilgrimage of breathtaking peril through the gathering winter to the farthest polar reaches of the planet, and enters the Great Wheel of Kharnabhar, where the prisoners of the Wheel are believed to row their planet back to light.
Involved in this drama are other dimensions: the world of the dead; distant Earth – also undergoing winter – and the deities that preside over the life of both planets.
Brian Wilson Aldiss, OBE (1925-2017) was an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. His byline reads either Brian W. Aldiss or simply Brian Aldiss, except for occasional pseudonyms during the mid-1960s.
Greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H. G. Wells, Aldiss was a vice-president of the international H. G. Wells Society. He was (with Harry Harrison) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group. Aldiss was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2000 and inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2004. He received two Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and one John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He wrote the short story "Super-Toys