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Colonization Of a Cold Planet
Ken Stange
Published by Two Cultures Press (2008)

A verse play for voices that originally appeared in the periodical Northward Journal  (#25, 1982) published by Penumbra Press, now available in book format.  The inspiration for the work was George Whalley’s The Legend of John Hornby which describes how John Hornby, a self-proclaimed wilderness expert, took his naïve 18 year old cousin, and another young man anxious to learn about survival in the North, to spend the winter of 1926-1927 by the Thelon River in the arctic, in the barren lands of the Northwest Territories.  The expected spring caribou migration failed to pass their camp, and Hornby, deluded about his ability to live off the land, had not brought adequate provisions.  This original story is transformed by what Quill & Quire reviewer called Stange’s "precise and elegant" style into a disturbing psychological drama—one played out on a distant planet in a distant time.

Two Cultures Press (2008)
ISBN 978-0-9809273-0-6
Softcover (6x9 inches) 72 pages

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Colonization Of a Cold Planet (2008)



the rocks seem alive rising from the snow
and the shrubs quiver
like the instant before
(the river is a red fuse but
the explosion will be white
we'll be blown to ice shards
the silence will be deafening)
bury me in an ice cave
stalactite stalagmite
bury me in rock
pictograph sarcophagus
here they leave you on the surface
let the wind
pick your bones)
hey why these thoughts?
what is the matter with me?
all is well


Our shelter is warm but fresh food
is scarce . . . I
checked the traps early
but was disappointed . . . nothing
not even tracks . . .
And the weather much colder
all day
still the river . . . I don't understand
it is still flowing . . . Hans thinks
it will freeze any day . . . Hans
seems suddenly less happy . . . But
I feel confident

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