The Helliconia Trilogy
– Brian Aldiss, Helliconia Spring
The Helliconia stories are set on a planet orbiting Batalix, a star much like our own Sun, but which, in turn, is in an elliptical orbit around a much larger star, Freyr, fifteen times the mass of our own.
This binary system is responsible for massive changes in the planets climate, or Seasons, lasting hundreds of years.
Helliconia is orbited by a space station, Avernus, which monitors the events on the planet below.
Helliconia Spring begins in late Winter, when the Phagors, or “ancipitals, a white furred and horned species of humanoids still dominate the surface of the planet. The human population live in caves beneath the surface.
During Helliconia Summer the human race have become the dominant species on the surface and have created a great empire.
With Helliconia Winter the planet comes full circle with the human civilisation retreating to barbarity.
This book is largely a metaphor for nuclear winter,