Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang – NaBloPoMo 2010

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

Kate Wilhelm‘s novel, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, is about  how as doomsday approached the Sumners family built a fortified citadel in the Shenandoah valley and prepared to wait it out.  as deadly winds swept and polluted destroying plant and animal life, the Sumners were left sterile – so they turned to cloning in the hope that after a number of generations the ability to reproduce would return.




11 thoughts on “Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang – NaBloPoMo 2010

  1. A friend sent me this book a few years ago and I quite liked it. For some unknown reason, I still think about the plot from time to time. Most books don’t “stay with me” like this one did.

  2. I can’t explain it, but this book made me sad yet content. Wonderfully written and haunting, it’s a perfect read for the fall as the cold and dark start closing in.

  3. Need to look this one up too. Dammit. So many good books. Have you read A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card? Sounds kind of similar, very highly recommended.

    • I’ve read both and they’re not even slightly the same, other than being set in the future and written in English in the 20th century in the US.

      • I can’t stand Orson Scott Card. Sorry. I thought “Ender’s Game” was neo-fascist, and I’m still not sure if that was Card’s intent.

        • Card IS neo-fascist and completely homophobic, even for a Mormon. He advocated (on his blog) that if the US gov’t continued “granting rights to homosexuals”, it should be violently overthrown.

          Which is almost funny b/c so much of his work is sooooo homoerotic. Young boys working and showering together, worshiping each other… “queer as a three dollar bill” as they used to say.

          • The descriptions of the academy where the boys (and one girl) are trained for war are creepy: I was surprised critics didn’t pick up on it when Ender was first published. I kept wondering if Card wasn’t a closeted pedophile.

            I was also disappointed when I found out Card is a global warming denier. He wrote a number of short stories with environmental themes, so I figured he was at least “green.” But in a column he writes for some newspaper, he attacks scientists who support the theory of global warming and thinks the whole thing is a liberal conspiracy involving “Darwinism” (like evolution is a political ideology) and “eco-Nazis.”

            Anyway, when I got done with “Ender’s Game” I decided I wasn’t even going to sell it. I didn’t want it to stay in circulation, so I tossed it into the industrial shredder at work.

            • I shredded a copy of Dianetics once. I felt I’d improved the karma of the world.

              Being deeply closeted makes people small-minded and reactionary, so it’s not really a surprise, is it?

      • Well, that’s similar, right? I think I’ll be dropping in at the used book store in the next week or two and take my book list along. Hoping to have two weeks off at Christmas, and I’d like to catch up on some reading.

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