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The Word for World is Forest (1972)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hainish Cycle, Chronological (2), Hainish Cycle (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,389775,144 (3.77)99
When the Athsheans, the inhabitants of a peaceful world, are conquered by the bloodthirsty Yumens, they retaliate against their captors, abandoning their rules against violence and endangering the very foundations of their society.
  1. 10
    Dune by Frank Herbert (andomck)
    andomck: Ecological science fiction.
  2. 00
    Dawn by Octavia E. Butler (fairyfeller)
    fairyfeller: Both are scifi novels exploring ideas of colonisation with an alien species.
  3. 00
    Grass by Sheri S. Tepper (sturlington)
  4. 00
    The last Yggdrasill by Robert F. Young (DisassemblyOfReason)
  5. 11
    The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin (coolsnak3)
    coolsnak3: more great le guin writing
  6. 00
    Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh (aulsmith)
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» See also 99 mentions

English (69)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  Catalan (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
About the planet Athshe, a colony of Earth pre-League days. There is no central governing body in the universe yet, so Terrans ravage Athshe old colonialism style: with rape, plunder, racism, machoism, a conquistador air. It is very blatantly a colonialism metaphor that it makes you wonder if it will go that way when humanity reaches that point. In all our search for extraterrestrial intelligent life form, did we ever stop to think whether or not we could understand their kind of intelligence? As with the Athsheans who are so "primitive" they do not even have a concept of murder, not until humans arrive and inspire enough rage to the point of invention.

Gotta say I did not vibe with this book so much because I was expecting a story post-The Left Hand of Darkness or at least concurrent with the existence of the Ekumen. Still, it is a good cautionary tale: how NOT to annex other planets. Though we already have a lot of examples of that from the 19th century and before...

I did enjoy the character of Lyubov, the expert on alien life forms who's a bit naive but with good intentions and the patience to learn. I keep thinking about alien anthropologists. There's something so romantic about voluntarily leaving your home world to be an exile in another, a sacrifice for greater interconnectedness among peoples. ( )
  kahell | May 4, 2022 |
Teño que recoñecer que esperaba máis, a premisa da que parte o libro levoume a pensar que habería un desenvolvemento maior da historia.
É o único pero que lle poño, porque está ben ambientado e crea unha empatía cos personaxes, mais sabe a pouco. ( )
  Yogivi | Mar 17, 2022 |
Le Guin was a master of conveying a grand scope of feeling, character, and philosophy with almost jarringly few brush strokes. Remains a relevant allegory for today’s racially divided world, unfortunately. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Le Guin é uma das minhas escritoras favoritas, cada vez que leio uma obra é um deleite. Não foi diferente dessa vez. 'Floresta é o nome do mundo' é uma história curta e incrível, cheia de metáforas e significados sobre integração à natureza, transformações e legado. E claro, mostra bem como a raça humana pode ser desgraçadamente ruim. Escrita em 1972 ainda é muito atual, infelizmente. Impressionante e impactante.
( )
  tarsischwald | Oct 23, 2021 |
a brilliant little parable that makes you see the oppressive effects of being colonized and makes you think about the obvious parallels to american slavery and racism. but it's more than this. she puts you in the head of davidson, the human who could hardly be more paranoid, racist, sexist, and full of hate. but you're in his head and you can see that even though he is all of those things, he also thinks he is doing the right thing and protecting the mission. (it puts you in the mind of fox newsers and how they are so wrong-headed but think they're doing the right thing. and they could say the same of me, of course.) it's also more in the way that this isn't just the humans vs the aliens/creechies/natives. she talks about how learning violence - the violence that the humans brought to the world and to the athsheans - irrevocably changes everything forever. you can't forget knowledge once it's learned, and that knowledge necessarily makes everything different moving forward.

i love her choices, and the way she used trees as the needed resource. there is so much to admire in this slim, very readable book. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Sep 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiconi, OscarCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Courtney, R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horne, MatildeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lokka, PirkkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pariseau, KevinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stege, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallorani, NicolettaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Two pieces of yesterday were in Captain Davidson's mind when he woke, and he lay looking at them in the darkness for a while.
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When the Athsheans, the inhabitants of a peaceful world, are conquered by the bloodthirsty Yumens, they retaliate against their captors, abandoning their rules against violence and endangering the very foundations of their society.

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