When Al:Ith first heard of the Order, she believed it to be a joke. She and her sister laughed. All of Zone Three heard how they laughed. Then arrived a message that could only be regarded as a rebuke, and people came together in conferences and council all over the Zone. They sent for us – the Chroniclers and the poets and the song-makers and the Memories. For weeks nothing was talked of but weddings and marriages. and every old tale and ballad that could be dug up was examined for information.
Then came the first visible and evident manifestation of the new time. Ben Ata sent a message that his men would come to escort her to him. This curtness was what we expected from his Zone. A realm of war did not need courtesies. Here was proof of the rightness of our reluctance to be brought low by Zone Four.
THE MARRIAGES BETWEEN ZONES THREE, FOUR AND FIVE, by Doris Lessing
THE MARRIAGES BETWEEN ZONES THREE, FOUR AND FIVE is a 1980 science fiction novel by Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Doris Lessing. It is the second book in her five-book Canopus in Argos series, the first being Shikasta (1979). The novel takes place in three of six metaphysical Zones that encircle the planet Shikasta (an allegorical Earth)…Read more.