Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#46: Rocannon's World by Ursula LeGuin

Rocannon is a scientist for the League of Worlds, learning about civilizations on uncharted planets; but when a space rebellion leaves him stranded on a Bronze Age-style planet, Rocannon takes up a sword and flying steed and goes after his starborn enemies.

Admirable pulp, and the rookie novel from the great Ursula LeGuin. However, unlike some of the debut works of other sci-fi authors, which often has to come with allowances made for early writings, LeGuin's novel comes out fully-formed and engaging.

I was pleasantly surprised by this short novel, and that it takes place in the same "universe" as some of LeGuin's most well-known science fiction, including The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. Interestingly, this is also the first appearance of LeGuin's creation the Ansible, a device for talking between words that others (including Orson Scott Card and his Ender series) have picked up on and used for their own over the years.

A good read for both sci-fi and fantasy fans. I nabbed this off of, an Ace Double with Avram Davidson's The Kar-Chee Reign on the flip side.

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