Ingathering: The Complete People Stories

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The People, the best-known creations of the late SF writer Henderson, are humanoid refugees who have landed in 19th-century America after the destruction of their own planet. Their abilities-telepathy, levitation and other apparently magic talents-help them survive, yet mark them as different. This useful and enjoyable collection reprints all of the People stories, including four that didn't appear in Henderson's two People books (Pilgrimage: The Book of The People; The People: No Different Flesh) and one that is new to print. One of the few female writers during SF's earlier years, Henderson provides a warm, emotional voice, prefeminist yet independent, examining issues of identity, loneliness, nostalgia and caring. The People stories, written between 1952 and 1975, also present a strong regional sensibility, depicting a rural Southwest as alien and charming as the People's own planet. Some may find these stories too sentimental, but their emotional integrity and deeply moral core will-as Priscilla Olson's too-short introduction points out-please many. (June)
Carl Hays
Henderson's People stories reached the peak of their popularity when they inspired the 1972 TV movie "The People", starring William Shatner. First composed in the 1950s and 1960s, the stories, including the previously unpublished "Michal Without," are here collected for the first time. For the uninitiated, the People are members of a race of humanlike, psychically gifted extraterrestrials who become stranded on Earth after their starship crashes during a space migration they refer to as the Crossing. Bound together by a series of vignettes about one human's encounter with the People, the 28 stories chronicle the People's adventures from the crash to their settlement in rural Arizona and their problems using their levitational and mind-reading skills in human society while seeking a new planet to replace the home they left behind. These tales may seem mawkish and dated by today's more sophisticated sf standards, yet they retain their raw emotional power thanks to Henderson's masterfully lucid prose. They will always occupy an important place in sf history for their treatment of parapsychological themes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780915368587
  • Publisher: New England Science Fiction Association, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: Nesfa's Choice Series
  • Pages: 582
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.90 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2012

    My favorite female science fiction author from back in the old d

    My favorite female science fiction author from back in the old days. I can't recommend her writings highly enough from both a stylistic and an emotive standpoint -- superbly talented, but very few know about her. Those who do often get choked up while reminiscing about her work.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2001

    By The Name, The Presence & The Power, All The People Are Gathered!

    I first fell in love with Valancy and the People when I read Ararat as a short story in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science-Fiction almost 50 years ago. I then could not wait for the next story to appear in F&SF. It was the main reason I subscribed. These gentle and sometimes heartbreaking stories are filled with the kind of wisdom and mysticism found in The Kaballah and have had some interesting discussions with scholars of The Talmud and Kaballah. It is also a tribute to all the dedicated teachers who have had an indellible kind of student. Let us hope there are more teachers out there like Melodye, Dita and Miss Mercer. This book should be read by every one in the teaching profession or contemplating becoming a teacher.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2000

    Friends from Out There

    As a teenager, I read 'Pottage,' one of Zenna Henderson's masterful stories of the People. That was more than three decades ago, and the People remain dear friends today. Twice a year or so, I fish one of the stories down from the bookshelf and go home for a visit. That is the power of Henderson's poetic storytelling. The People are extraterrestrial refugees, who fled into immense space when their planet, the Home, was destroyed. Some found their way to our world, where they tried to fit into a suspicious and xenophobic culture. Henderson's tales are rich, heart-deep metaphors for who we are, at our best, and what we may become. It occupies a place on the Top Shelf of things literary that have changed my thoughts and moved me deeply. Unabashedly loving and optimistic, and most highly recommended

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

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