The Sirian Experiments is a 1980 science fiction novel by Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Doris Lessing. It is the third book in her five-book Canopus in Argos series and continues the story of Earth's evolution, which has been manipulated from the beginning by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1981.
This book relates directly to the first book in this series, Shikasta which is the history of the planet Shikasta (an allegorical Earth) under the influence of three galactic empires, Canopus, Sirius and their mutual enemy, Puttiora. Shikasta is told from the Canopean viewpoint. The Sirian Experiments (subtitled The Report by Ambien II, of the Five) tells the story of Shikasta from Sirius's point of view and describes their activities on the planet and their strained relations with Canopus.
Lessing stated in an afterword in the next book in this series that The Sirian Experiments and The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 were inspired by her 50-year fascination with the ill-fated 1910–13 Antarctic expedition of Robert Falcon Scott.
Famous quotes containing the word experiments:
“There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.”
—Denis Diderot (17131784)