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Rocannon's world by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Rocannon's world (original 1966; edition 1979)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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7861711,712 (3.36)41
Member:Zambaco
Title:Rocannon's world
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Info:London : Gollancz, 1979.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:science fiction

Work details

Rocannon's world by Ursula K. Le Guin (1966)

  1. 00
    Cards of Grief by Jane Yolen (muumi)
  2. 00
    Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherwordly Stories by Leigh Brackett (LamontCranston)
  3. 04
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (quigui)
    quigui: I found the aliens on Rocannon's world reminiscent of the future species in the Time Machine. And although there is not actual time travel involved in Rocannon's World, there is a time lapse difference due to space travel at near light speed.
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» See also 41 mentions

English (15)  Finnish (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This book wonderfully written with a well thought out story line.
Great descriptions of species and planets and a whole lot of plot twists.
It was a shame it all had to fit on 122 pages, it felt a bit cramped and rushed.
If this books was longer the occurring events could have been written out more, which would have helped to keep a better pace.
this being my Le Guin read I definitely enjoyed it ! ( )
  lisa.isselee | Sep 26, 2014 |
This was Ursula Le Guin's first novel, one of the books in her Hainish series that includes the famous Left Hand of Darkness. It's not anywhere near as impressive as that book or the first three Earthsea books, classics in science fiction and fantasy--but you can see glimmers of their promise here. As with all her books, this is at the very least well-written, and in its cadences reminds me of Tolkien. It reminds me of Middle Earth in other ways, this world of Rocannon--the world of the "Seven Folk" some of which remind me of elves, some of hobbits and some dwarves. There are "windsteeds"--feline winged beasts, there is a fellowship on a quest, a cursed necklace, and I can see similarities between Rocannon and the staff-wielding Rocannon with his "magical" armor. Embedded is a fairy story along traditional lines--only with a rationale of relativistic physics, and a kind of Gotterdammerung alluded to--of a prophesied return of extra-galactic enemies. So you could call this a science fantasy, an adventure story with a mythic feel and certainly an enjoyable read. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jun 11, 2013 |
Ever since reading Wizard of Earthsea I have loved Le Guin, and I have been slowly collecting (second-hand) copies of her work. Recently I found Rocannon (Rocannon's world), a book in the Hainish Cycle.
It is the story of Rocannon, an anthropologist on an alien planet. On the planet there are several humanoid species which are living in an iron/bronze age level of development. The story is divided into two parts, all involving Rocannon, but spanning many (planet) years. The first story is very traditional, about one of the upper-class species families who has lost all its wealth because of the aliens. The wife wants her wealth back, and starts an adventure to find a legendary necklace. The second story is about Rocannon, who discovers the planet is under attack and without access to technology tries to save it. This involves an epic quest to lands unknown to meet the oldest species on the planet and find the enemy base.
When I read the book I just enjoyed it for what it is. I love Le Guin's style and wasn't disappointed here. The mix of a high-technology alien species and a pretty basis planet is wonderful, and teaches both species new things. Afterwards I read the reviews on LibraryThing and the page about the book on Wikipedia. There they linked the story to literary history by mentioning that the upper class species resembles Norse Gods (blonde hair, warrior culture), and to heroic fantasy (a quest with species that resemble dwarves, elves and humans). I agree with that, but still the story is different enough from standard fantasy to be very enjoyable. Another fun fact I learned was that this book has the first mention of an "ansible" (faster than light communication), something which has been in use in science fiction by various writers ever since, not just by Le Guin. Four out of five stars. ( )
1 vote divinenanny | Oct 5, 2012 |
This novella is LeGuin's first extended work. As in many of her subsequent novels the protagonist, Rocannon, is isolated within the cultures on his posthumously eponymous planet. However, since this is early in the history of her universe this is not a voluntary isolation, rather his ethnographic team is annihilated in an attack leaving him to fend for himself. And unlike many of her later novels, this tale is not of the difficulty of adapting to a foreign culture or cultures. Rather it is a fairly straightforward adventure as the protagonist, with Bronze Age comrades and technology, but tremendous mental gifts acquired during his journey, defeats the hi-tech enemy.

To one brought up on European myths the elements of this story are comfortable familiar. There are HILFs (Highly Intelligent Life Forms) who resemble Nordic heroes. They are arrogant, fight among each other, and meet their grim destinies with courage. There are elf-like HILFs and dwarf-like HILFs. There is a jewel of great price which is recovered at great cost. Great sacrifices are made for a noble goal and loyalty is one of the most prized virtues. Rocannon is nick-named "The Wanderer" like Odin. Like Odin he carries a staff and like Odin he must suffer in order to gain wisdom. The presence of interstellar concerns within this mythic cultural context is enjoyable.

As with many of LeGuin's novels the conclusion of the action and actual defeat of the enemy is tersely described.

There are some non-humanoid HILFs. Such beings do not occur in any of her other books set in this universe. The insect-like HILFs that Rocannon encounters are a surprising irony and a commentary on contemporary human society. ( )
  themulhern | Jul 7, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McConnell, GeraldCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swahn, Sven ChristerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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How can you tell the legend from the fact on those worlds that lie so many years away? - planets without names, called by their people simply The World, planets without history, where the past is the matter of myth, and a returning explorer finds his own doings of a few years back have become the gestures of a god.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044173295X, Mass Market Paperback)

This debut novel from preeminent science-fiction writer Ursula LeGuin introduces her brilliant Hainish series, set in a galaxy seeded by the planet Hain with a variety of humanoid species, including that of Earth. Over the centuries, the Hainish colonies have evolved into physically and culturally unique peoples, joined by a League of All Worlds.

Earth-scientist Rocannon has been leading an ethnological survey on a remote world populated by three native races: the cavern-dwelling Gdemiar, the elvish Fiia, and the warrior clan, Liuar. But when the technologically primitive planet is suddenly invaded by a fleet of ships from the stars, rebels against the League of All Worlds, Rocannon is the only survey member left alive. Marooned among alien peoples, he leads the battle to free this newly discovered world and finds that legends grow around him as he fights.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:33 -0400)

On the planet Hain earth-scientist Rocannon has been leading an ethnological survey on a remote world populated by three native races: the cavern-dwelling Gdemiar, the elvish Fiia, and the warrior clan, Liuar. But when the technologically primitive planet is suddenly invaded by a fleet of ships from the stars, rebels against the League of All Worlds, Rocannon is the only survey member left alive. Marooned among alien peoples, he leads the battle to free this newly discovered world and finds that legends grow around him as he fights.… (more)

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