[Read] ➯ Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia ➸ Mike Resnick – Motyourdrive.co.uk


10 thoughts on “Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia

  1. says:

    Kirinyaga is what the locals tribes call Mount Kenya The distinction is important because it marks the refusal by the traditionalist Kikuyu to accept the Western values, especially in view of the extensive environmental damage, overpopulation and loss of cultural identity they are confronted with in the twenty second century So, when new technological advances open up the Space for the creation of human colonies on carefully terraformed and climate controlled planetoids, these tribesmen decide to leave Kenya and go live by the rules of their forefathers in a Utopian society among stars.The principal artisan of the movement is Koriba, an elderly, Western University educated Kikuyu, the spiritual leader of the colonists and the liant that holds together the eight novellas included in this Mike Resnick collection The stories were published independently over than one decade, but there is a chronological and logical progression in the study of a Utopian society that justifies the treatment of the sum of these episodes as a proper, unitary novel.I was first attracted to the title by its non Western source of inspiration and by the numerous genre awards the novellas have received over the years I have also admired another Mike Resnick story set in Africa, addressing the nature of humanity as a whole Seven Views of the Olduvai Gorge Kiriniaga delivered on my expectations on multiple levels, and the author s boast that it is his best work seems justified The application of myths, legends and parables in the description of he Kikuyu culture and the complete rejection of modern technology places the novel in the soft SF, sociological study category, and the issues tackled here identity, the individual needs versus the community needs, sustainable development, democracy versus tyranny, reckless progress versus conservative stagnation, traditional values versus freedom of thought, globalization versus cultural diversity have direct application to problems we are already confronting in the beginning of the third millenium.Because the novellas were conceived to function both as stand alones and as stepping stones in the efforts of Koriba to create the perfect society for his people, there is some overlap and repetition of themes Each episode begins with a parable about Ngai, the supreme deity of the Kikuyu, followed by the exposition of a current crisis Koriba has to defuse, and ending with the moral, the lesson of the day that the mundumugu wants to impart to his audiences What exactly is a mundumugu You would call him a witch doctor But in truth the mundumugu, while occasionally casts spells and interpret omens, is a repository of the collected wisdom and traditions of his race.Koriba in his role of mundumugu assumes the mantle ultimate authority, of judge and jury of every tresspassing against the racial traditions that he claims are the only road to follow for the creation of Utopia He wields the power of Ngai ironically, through a computer screen communicating to climate control supervisors , and when his parables are not enough to sway his villagers, he is not shy of cursing the entire community until he gets his wishes 1 One Perfect Morning, With Jackals is the prologue, describing the departure from a homeland where all the big game is extinct, the sacred mount is now a megalopolis, and the people have embraced fully the global culture Favorite quote To be thrown out of Paradise, as were the Christian Adam and Eve, is a terrible fate, but to live beside a debased Paradise is infinitely worse 2 Kirinyaga is the first story set in the new lands, and one of the most controversial because it asks the readers if a traditional population has the right to adhere to its superstitions and outdated rules In this case it is infanticide, but you can expand the question to cannibalism, scalping, underage marriage, Sharia, circumcision or gay rights Koriba argues in favor of maintaining Kikuyu identity by any means necessary, as the only society cabable of living in harmony with its environment 3 For I Have Touched the Sky is my favorite story, and it deals with access to knowledge and informed choices, a theme that will be revisited later in the novel Here, one of the smartest young girls in the village comes to work for Koriba and incidentally gains access to his computer She has a wonderful thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity, but in a traditional Kikuyuy society women are restricted to fieldwork and housekeeping, servants to the power of their menfolk Once a bird has ridden upon the winds, he cannot live on the ground Do all birds die when they can no longer fly Most do A few like the security of the cage, but most die of broken hearts, for having touched the sky they cannot bear to lose the gift of flight 4 Bwana deals with the problem of an agricultural, pacifist society facing a warrior culture In this case a Masaai hunter is called to the village to help with hyena attacks against children, only to refuse afterwards to leave, bullying the locals into submitting to him as the leader of the pack Koriba needs all the cunning of his old tales to find a solution to get rid of the tyrant without appealing to the world s supervisors What kind of Utopia permits children to be devoured by wild animals You cannot understand what it means to be full until you have been hungry You cannot know what it means to be warm and dry until you have been cold and wet And Ngai knows, even if you do not, that you cannot appreciate life without death 5 The Manamouki questions the welcoming of strangers inside the Kikuyu Utopia, as a couple of immigrants come to Koriba s village No matter how hard the Western woman tries to live by the rules of the Kikuyu, she is not accepted by the other wives who look at her with envy and distrust There are many different notions of Utopia Kirinyaga is the Kikuyu s 6 Song of a Dry River returns to the theme of women in a traditional society, in this case Mumbi an old lady who is put out to pasture by the younger wives of her son, but still feels the need to work and be useful The story also marks a turning point in our perception of Koriba from a benevolent, if strict, traditional ruler, to a vengeful and petty tyrant who cannot brook any challenge to his absolute authority Can a society be considered Utopian if not all its members are happy to live in it Perhaps there are no Utopias, and we must each be concerned with our own happiness 7 The Lotus and the Spear is another take on the issue of the pursuit of happiness, as Koriba is confronted with a series of suicides among young men who feel depressed by the lack of challenges and the lack of any real prospects for the future in the Utopian society they live in All that they have to look forward to is inheriting the house and the herds from their fathers, marrying, raising children and letting their women work the plots of land From time to time I cannot help wondering what must become of a society, even a Utopia such as Kirinyaga, where our best and our brightest are turned into outcasts, and all that remains are those who are content to eat the fruit of the lotus 8 A Little Knowledge is about Koriba s search for the next mundumugu, the one who will carry the torch of his dreams to the next generation I sought a boy who grasped the difference between facts, which merely informed, and parables, which not only informed but instructed I needed a Homer, a Jesus, a Shakespeare, someone who could touch men s souls and gently guide them down the path that must be taken He picks up Ndemi, the brightest child in the village, and spends years apprenticing him to the job, only to discover that the boy is capable of reasoning by himself and doesn t necessarily agrees with his master s philosophy It was you who taught me how to think, Koriba Would you have me stop thinking now, just because I think differently than you do 9 When The Old Gods Die describes the ultimate defeat of the Utopian dream of Koriba, the final capitulaton of Ngai in front of progressive new ideas It is time for Koriba to recognize that his Utopia may be different from the Utopia desired by the rest of his Kikuyu community And a possible conclusion is that a perfect society cannot be frozen in time and must provide for new ways of thinking and new challenges You can direct change, Koriba, but you cannot prevent it, and that is why Kirinyaga will always break your heart 10 The Land of Nod presents the inglorious return of Koriba to the Westernalized Kenya, an outcast from his Utopian Kirinyaga, a living anachronism that cannot unbend and see the positive sides of progress, looking only at the destructive aspects of the new world Like one of the extinct animals that once ruled the savannah, he must pass on into a mythical realm of legends like his once all powerful god Ngai The thing I had not realized is that a society can be Utopian for only an instant once it reaches a state of perfection it cannot change and still be a Utopia, and it is the nature of societies to grow and to evolve Highly recommended.


  2. says:

    5.0 stars WOW This was an exceptional collection of inter connected short stories that should be seen as one complete story The cosmetic premise of the of the stories is about a group of 22nd century Kenyans unhappy with its evolution into another European city who emigrate to a planetary colony in order to live simply and in harmony with the land as their ancestors did The real or underlying premise of these stories are about the struggle of one person against the inevitability of progress and change This struggle is shown through the eyes of Koriba, the colonies mundumugu i.e., holy man as he attempts to keep outside influences, ideas and technologies from contaminating the culture of his people Many of these conflicts made it very difficult to sympathize with Koriba s position given my, and presumably most readers, Western viewpoint i.e., killing an infant because it is cursed , leaving the elderly and infirm outside the village at night to be consummed by hyenas and refusing life saving medical services However, even when we end up disagreeing with his position, Resnick does a great job of making the reader see these issues through Koriba s eyes so that at least we understand him Not an easy thing to do and Resnick does it superbly The tale of Koriba and the colony of Kirinyaga are told in a series of connected short stories that, when taken together, is the most HONORED collection in terms of major and minor awards and nominations of short stories in the history of Science Fiction see below for list of MAJOR awards only This is definitely a worth while collection and a SUPERIOR achievement by a great author HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Table of Contents One Perfect Morning, With Jackals Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award Kirinyaga Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus Award Voted to Locus All Time Best Short Story ListFor I Have Touched the Sky Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardBwana Nominee Locus AwardThe Manamouki Winner Hugo Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Locus AwardSong of a Dry River The Lotus and the Spear Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardA Little Knowledge Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus AwardWhen the Old Gods Die Winner Locus Award Nominee Nebula Award Nominee Hugo AwardThe Land of Nod Nominee Hugo Award Nominee Locus Award


  3. says:

    One of the best books I read this year, deservedly considered sci fi classic Actual review might come at some point later.


  4. says:

    Solo con el art culo final del propio autor ya merecer a la pena.Es Resnick en estado puro, la demostraci n m s clara de c mo usar la ciencia ficci n para tratar cuestiones que nos afectan aqu , ahora, en la vida real.


  5. says:

    I was torn on this one I wanted to like it going in and was actually captivated by the opening story, One Perfect Morning, with Jackals That was a great introduction to the new world set up by the Eutopian Council clever name, that called Kirinyaga, an attempt to get back to the roots of the Kikuyu tribe of what we barbaric Europeans call Kenya.And here s where the being torn comes in As I read story after story, I realized that I didn t like the narrator, Koriba At first I d sympathized with him, but after some of his rulings as mundumugu, I wanted someone to leave him out for the hyenas Then I decided I didn t much care for the stories as a whole Each one started with an animal parable told by Koriba to his sheep people, in order to teach them the evils of European influence and the godliness of Koriba himself their deity, Ngai Then something would happen in the village, someone would attempt to think for themselves explore the forbidden technology or culture of Europe Or of the Kenyans from Earth, which Koriba referred to as Black Europeans Koriba would declare them to be wrong and bully or blackmail tell them parables to show them the error of not doing as he says turning from the path of Ngai.Anyway, the final chapter story is The Land of Nod , and it brings the entire book full circle, creating a satisfying and reasonable ending for the story as a whole Satisfying beginning, satisfying ending Hmmm.Lots of books can claim one or the other, but both So I thought about it At first, I planned to give it a 2 star It seemed to fit the it s ok but I didn t really love it definition of a 2 star Or to be blunt, didn t really like it But I did At times I liked the story For I Have Touched the Sky quite a bit Had I read this by itself, I would have been wow It was heartbreaking and touching, and by the end of it I was view spoiler outraged at what happened to the sweet little girl hide spoiler


  6. says:

    I loved this book, it reflects a lot of today s reality, expecially our world s quick changes, and its many conflicts between past and present An old scientist from Kenya, desperate because the good old days of Kenya s uncontaminated tribal life have gone, decides to recreate that world artificially, on another planet Despite the futuristic concept, this is not much of a science fiction book, it s rather speculative fiction, or a book of ideas The stories are interconnected, and they are part of the same overarching narrative Elements of traditional Kenyan culture, African poetry, and some serious reflections on cultural changes are interwoven in this highly original work Some stories have a ingenuity that reminded me of Sherlock Holmes stories, some others are truly moving The main charachter may result annoying and arrogant, but by the end of the last story you also understand what the author thinks of his philosophy, and everything makes a little sense At least it did to me.A few years ago I wrote the author a note complimenting him, and he cheerfully replied saying Thank you Check out what else I can do , and he listed a few of his books.


  7. says:

    The Good The writing is brilliant, the story thought provoking, and the setting and characters utterly vivid The ending is perfect.The Bad It s as much a morality tale as a science fiction story, so there is a mild undercurrent of preaching The story concerns a collective of 22nd century Kikuyu a Kenyan ethnic group nationalists who emigrate to their own terraformed world to live in the manner of their stone age ancestors This fact alone makes their motivations difficult to understand from the beginning Also, the episodic nature of the novel detracts from its flow and pacing Lastly, as far as I know, Mike Resnick is not a member of the Kikuyu people, so this book probably offends someone Friends character the protagonist is most like Koriba is the visionary prophet of a past long dead He is single minded in his commitment to utopia, and than a slight control freak, just like Monica.


  8. says:

    9 10Muy interesante No le cae el 10 por alg n momento demasiado repetitivo, pero este autor consigue emocionarme siempre.


  9. says:

    Kirinyaga is a collection of inter related short stories that center around a terraformed planet designed to be the new home of the Kikuyu tribe of Africa, where they can live their lives in the old, traditional way, without interference from modern society I almost stopped reading this book 2 chapters stories, technically into it Two main reasons for this 1 I really dislike parables They are usually obvious, simplistic, and preachy 2 I intensely dislike Koriba, the main character Pressing on, because I really did want to give this one a chance, I did come to see that the parables tied into the story, and it made sense I still felt that they were obvious, simplistic, and preachy, but there was a kind of layering there that helped make them bearable within the stories The stories themselves were quite repetitive, and I felt that the outcome for Kirinyaga was pretty obvious right from the start It was just how it would get there that was in question Coming back to Koriba Ugh Where to start He s highly idealistic, a Type A personality Hypocritical, uncompromising, hard to sympathize with, and manipulative, but very clever I feel like I would have enjoyed this story much if I had been able to identify with Koriba I understand the desire to maintain tradition and culture, but the way that he went about it was so wrong to me, that every time I would start to feel a shred of agreement with him, he d up the ante and I d retreat again His ideal is rigidly maintaining the traditional Kikuyu lifestyle, as interpreted and controlled by himself, and never, ever deviating, even the slightest bit No matter the cost If people suffer, they suffer If they die, they die That s the Kikuyu way It was disgusting to see the extents that he would go to to prove his point I just couldn t understand him Not at all I m a fan of compromise, but he sees life in stark black and white terms He s very much a fan of the You re either with me or against me line There is no middle ground, no room for anyone else to think or want anything, because all that matters to Koriba is what he thinks and wants for Kirinyaga and for himself, as the self proclaimed last true Kikuyu He pulls the strings, and keeps the rest of the people ignorant and superstitiously fearful, thinking that that s the only way to form a Kikuyu Utopia Perhaps if the story had been told from the perspective of a new inhabitant of Kirinyaga, trying to adapt, or even from Koriba s trainee, I would have liked it better As it is, I think it was interesting, but could have been shorter, and it definitely made me think.


  10. says:

    Quite by accident, I ve been reading a lot of stories about righteous people who do wrong things for what they believe are right reasons Some of these people reap the consequences of their decisions, and some do not Some see the error of their choices, and a very few go on blindly believing that nobody else really understands, only they can see that they are right, and only they are able to interpret what is true.The religion of my childhood referred to itself as The Truth As a child, I trusted in everything that implied, up to and including believing that there could be only one truth, and not realizing that there are many such groups who call themselves by those precise words In The Truth, there are many rules, and the less thinking one does, the following is possible People act like they are happy when they choose not to think But the truth is not The Truth, and acting is not the same as being Among the many rules in my particular Truth, were rules regarding whom could teach, and whom could lead There were rules governing relationships, permitted and proscribed activities, gender roles, clothing, and possessions, just as there is conformism in every society, to a greater or lesser degree In my Truth, to the greater degree, there were also rules regarding treatment of those who did not keep to the other rules, as well as instruction to repudiate any succumbed to independent thinking Koriba, the mundumugu a witch doctor and spiritual counselor tries to hold his people, in the Utopia he helped to create, to unreasoning rules and tradition which do not allow for personal growth and change, and prevent cultural progress His reasons are clearly in protection of what he thinks is perfect justice and ideal society, but he forgets to love the people in loving the ideas The stories are brilliant in their execution.These stories hurt my heart, but they are cathartic too I lived in my own Kirinyaga I know what it means to walk to Haven.


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Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia summary pdf Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia, summary chapter 2 Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia, sparknotes Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia, Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia 72a5574 Kirinyaga A Fable Of Utopia Collects Mike Resnick S Famous Kirinyaga Stories And Ties Them Together In A Thematic Arc That Has Novel Like Continuity The Story Focuses On Koriba, A Mundumugu Sort Of Like A Witch Doctor And A Wise Man Rolled Into One Of The Kikuyu Tribe Koriba Feels That His Tribe Has Been Corrupted By European Technology, So He Helps To Establish A Small, Utopian Planetoid Named Kirinyaga Where The Kikuyu Can Return To Their Roots, Farming The Land And Worshipping The God Ngai Without Technological Or Cultural Interference As Utopias Go, Kirinyaga Experiences Its Fair Share Of Problems Both From Within And Without Each Of Which Is Detailed In The Individual Chapters And Stories Contents One Perfect Morning, With JackalsKirinyagaFor I Have Touched The SkyBwanaThe ManamoukiSong Of A Dry RiverThe Lotus And The SpearA Little KnowledgeWhen The Old Gods DieThe Land Of Nod

  • Paperback
  • 293 pages
  • Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia
  • Mike Resnick
  • English
  • 15 November 2019
  • 9780345417022