Hain (planet)


Hain (planet)

Hain is a fictional planet that plays an important background role in the science fiction novels of Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish Cycle. It is described more closely in some later short stories. It is the oldest culture in both the League of Worlds and later the Ekumen and is about 140 Light Years from Terra/Earth [A Man of the People] . Observers like Genly Ai in "The Left Hand of Darkness" are trained on Hain.

History

Hain is also known as Davenant or Hain-Davenant. Its people cannot readily be distinguished from Earth-humans, but they have evolved differences, including the ability not to conceive children or father them without a conscious decision to do so. [A Man of the People] It once had a high-technology culture, and also seeded humans or humanoids on various planets, including Earth and other worlds now in the Ekumen. Exact details are no longer known, but the history of the people of Hain goes back three million years. [A Man of the People: Kathhad and Ve] Knowledge has mostly not been lost, but is used more wisely.

The 'Ekumen' is very loosely knit, with Hain at the centre but not ruling. The Hainish attitude was different during the "vast Hainish expansion of the Fore-Eras". It is mentioned in "The Left Hand of Darkness" that the original Hainish culture probably created the Gethenians as an experiment.

From the older high-tech culture there was a crash and a re-building on a wiser basis. Evidence of the former high-tech life is all around, along with proof of the current indifference to it:

:Stse is an almost-island, separated from the mainland of the great south continent by marshes and tidal bogs, where millions of wading birds gather to mate and nest. Ruins of an enormous bridge are visible on the landward side, and another half-sunk fragment of ruin is the basis of the town's boat pier and breakwater. Vast works of other ages encumber all Hain, and are no more and no less venerable or interesting to the Hainish than the rest of the landscape. [A Man of the People: first section]

Tales about Hain

Three of the short stories in "A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" include details of life on Hain. More is seen in the first half of "A Man of the People" in "Four Ways to Forgiveness". Havzhiva is a man who grows up on Hain, though he ends up working for the Hainish embassy on Yeowe. We see the ruins of past technology and learn of the highly localised social order that exists on some parts of the planet.

References

Third-party mentions

* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5221/is_2005/ai_n19141551 Entry on Le Guin from UXL Newsmakers] in 2005 (from findarticles.com) "The Hainish were a race of beings from the planet Hain who have colonized all planets of the Universe that will sustain them."
*Cadden, Michael "Ursula K. Le Guin Beyond Genre: Fiction For Children And Adults", 2004; ISBN 0415972183 " "The pattern is typical: he begins on Hain (or another long-time planet of the Ekumen)" p. 64


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