Canopus in Argos

Canopus In Argos

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Canopus in Argos

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Canopus in Argos: Archives is a sequence of five science fiction novels by Nobel Prize in Literature-winning author Doris Lessing which portray a number of societies at different stages of development, over a great period of time. The focus is on accelerated evolution being aided by advanced species for less advanced species and societies.

The novels take place in the same future history, but do not relate a continuous storyline. Each book covers unrelated events, with the exception of Shikasta and The Sirian Experiments, which tell the story of accelerated evolution on Earth through the eyes of Canopean and Sirian respectively.

When Lessing began writing Shikasta she intended it to be a "single self-contained book". But as her fictional universe developed, she found she had ideas for more than just one book, and ended up writing a series of five. The reaction of reviewers and readers to the first two books, Shikasta and The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five, prompted Lessing to write in the Preface to the third book, The Sirian Experiments:

The Canopus in Argos series as a whole falls into categories of social or soft science fiction ("space fiction" in Lessing's own words) because of its focus on characterization and social-cultural issues, and its de-emphasis of the details of scientific technology. This set of writings represented a major shift of focus for...
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