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book cover of Picnic on Paradise

Picnic on Paradise

(1968)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Nebula Awards Best Novel (nominee)
A new kind of sci-fi heroine, the tough-as-nails Alyx, is introduced in this Nebula Award finalist that Poul Anderson called an "extraordinary" novel.

Set in a semi-utopian world, Joanna Russ's groundbreaking debut novel is the story of Alyx, a female soldier, survival guide, and agent of the Trans-Temporal Authority. Displaced in time from her ancient Greece, Alyx is tasked with safely leading a group of pampered human vacationers - including some unconventional nuns and a detached teenager known as the Machine - across an uninhabited scenic terrain to a relief station. But the journey proves more challenging than anticipated as they confront one another's failings; the physical dangers of an icy, hostile wilderness; and Alyx's own personal demons.

Long before the kick-ass heroines of current science fiction and fantasy, Russ unapologetically introduced readers to a short, strong, middle-aged (for her world/time) woman of twenty-six who knows how to survive but struggles with the emotional nuances of her charges and the confusion of her own mixed feelings. With iconic characters like Alyx, Russ "four decades ago helped deliver science fiction into the hands of the most alien creatures the genre had yet seen - women . . . [and] helped inaugurate the now flourishing tradition of feminist science fiction" (The New York Times).

    

Praise for this book

"An extraordinary book!" - Poul Anderson

"Picnic on Paradise is the only science fiction novel I've read in a single sitting in the past ten years. The tough little heroine Alyx grabbed my interest in the first sentence and never let go, any more than she ever lets go of her job of herding a fascinating bunch of future tourists across a winter-resort planet which is the battlefield of an eerie war and glitters with peril. Here is adventure, not romanticized, but as it really is: rough, dangerous and dirty, a-bristle with the unexpected, though with moments of high humor and surprising beauty." - Fritz Leiber


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Used availability for Joanna Russ's Picnic on Paradise

Hardback Editions

October 1969 : UK Hardback
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Title: Picnic on Paradise (Macdonald science fiction)
Author(s): Joanna Russ
ISBN: 0-356-02938-7 / 978-0-356-02938-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macdonald & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 1979 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Picnic On Paradise
Author(s): Joanna Russ
ISBN: 0-425-04040-2 / 978-0-425-04040-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1977 : UK Paperback
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Title: Picnic on Paradise
Author(s): Joanna Russ
ISBN: 0-352-39865-5 / 978-0-352-39865-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Star
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

May 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Picnic on Paradise
Author(s): Joanna Russ
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA