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Deathworld 1 (Deathworld #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,628 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
The planet was called Pyrrus...a strange place where all the beasts, plants and natural elements were designed for one specific purpose: to destroy man.
The settlers there were supermen...twice as strong as ordinary men and with milli-second reflexes. They had to be. For their business was murder...
It was up to Jason dinAlt, interplanetary gambler, to discover why Pyrrus ha
Paperback, 157 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Orbit (first published 1960)
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Grass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Anubis Gates by Tim PowersStories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
108th out of 1,127 books — 1,352 voters
Hyperion by Dan SimmonsEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank HerbertFoundation by Isaac AsimovCassastar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Best Space Opera
66th out of 408 books — 900 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
May 27, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
When professional gambler Jason dinAlt is hired to run a stake up into the billions by some colonists, he is intrigued by tales of their world and opts to return to it. However, Pyrrus is the most hostile world in the universe, with every life form bent on the extermination of the colonists, even the plant life.

I read a few of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books years ago and decided to give this one a try. It was free on the Kindle so the price was right.

Deathworld is a tale of man vs. e
Jun 01, 2015 Elizabeth rated it liked it
3. 5 stars. Easy-reading adventuring fun times on the planet of DEATH! This book is every ingredient from pre-1960 sf history stirred into one ridiculous romptastic read. Buff heroes, beautiful lady - (but just the ONE apparently in the ENTIRE WORLD), spaceships, monstrous alien beasts, telepathy, logic and "science" saves the day, with a helping hand from rugged manly devil-may-care hero and his James Bond ethics. All that in 150 pages. And there was even time for gambling, booze and sex. Rock ...more
Sep 23, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

By Harry Harrison

Since I can't find The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat for Kindle and I can't find my hard copy, or the time to read a hard copy, I read Deathworld. Thank you again for the recommendation Jim.

Deathworld was first published in 1961 (maybe earlier). This is a classic science fiction story. If, as I believe, Bill, the Galactic Hero is a satirical response to books like Heinlein Ra's Starship Troopers and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Deathworld is Harrison's o
Jun 26, 2011 Jakob rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Enjoyable story about a planet... OF DEATH! Pretty fun tale about karma (kind of). In death world the ecology of a planet seems hellbent on killing its human inhabitants to the degree that evolution has steered the plants and animals in such a way that all their offensive and defensive traits are specifically geared towards killing and maiming humans. The funny thing is the humans have only been on the planet for a few hundred years, not nearly enough time for any kind of evolution to respond to ...more
Jason, a mildly psionic gambler is hired to gamble extremely well to finance weaponry for the planet Pyruss, which has an ongoing problem of epically hostile wildlife. Intrigued, Jason follows his employer home, to a 2G gravity world where even the youngsters can out-gun him.

Once Jason gets through Pyrric infants school (every child packing their pistol), he takes on the classic "outsider solves the problem the locals can't see" role and (after quite a lot of death) picks a pathway toward planet
Jan 18, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
This book and the subsequent two sequels are examples again of me picking up books on my travels and not getting round to reading them years later. The book was originally published in the 60s where as my copy was from the 80s, however it has never really been far from print even to this day. Harry Harrison is an intriguing character - his works go the from the classics like, Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! and Make room, make room which was then turned in to Soylent Green all the way to his comic ...more
3.5 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

Jason din Alt is a gambler with a special touch. When Kerk, ambassador from Pyrrus, engages din Alt to multiply a small stake, things get complicated, and the pair flee to Pyrrus, which offers problems of its own.

It took me a long time to get to Deathworld, way back when. A friend of mine promoted the books, but he was partial to military SF (he was right about Dorsai) and Gor (I've never wanted to check). When I finally did get around to Harry Harrison, I was ple
Written as a pair with The Invisible Code.

I did manage after some encouragement from the ranks to get over that and I'm glad I did. It's a good bad-book. The Wildside edition I read was horribly proofread, but not nearly as badly as the academic books I've been reading lately. Nothing, at any rate, that distracted me from a punchy story, good characterisation as sci fi goes and a really interesting idea for world in which the story takes place.

As it happens I next picked up The Invisible Code b
Mar 28, 2016 Jos rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The first sentence in the book already disqualifies the science part of the fiction. In the known universe 30,000 planets are inhabited. Space travel is a matter of course but communication still uses pneumatic delivery.

The focus is on opera and a bit of space. Jason dinAlt is a professional gambler, benefitting from his psi ability to skew the probabilities of winning. His reputation as a successful gambler is the reason why Kerk, the ambassador from Pyrrus, contacts him. His proposal is gambli
Scott Holstad
Nov 10, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It wasn't perfect, but boy, was it unique and original! It was so interesting and so intriguing and so action packed, especially for such a small book. And it was really good, surprisingly so for one published as long ago as 1960.

Jason dinAlt, an interplanetary gambler, is forced to take a small sum of money and gamble to make a huge sum of money or face death by some huge, deathly stranger he encounters in his new hotel room. And he does it. But he takes the casino for so muc
Bobby Lundy
Jason Dinalt is a profesonal gambler with psychic powers that helps him in the casinos. He was hired by a man named Kirk Pyrrus. Jason went in to a casino on the job and had to win 3 billion credits for kirk. When he won Jason went with kirk to his home planet. It is a planet known to be a literal death world. The planet of pyrrus has twice earths gravity and every thing on the planet is made to kill humans. Jason finds out that the natives of pyrrus do not know there own history. The only thin ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, specfic
You know how there are free books for Kindle, especially older books, maybe especially out-of-print or not-so-widely-read books? And you know how you sometimes have to take a six-hour plane trip somewhere and you know you're not going to sleep? And you know how sometimes you just want mental Cheetos? Yes? I have a book for you.
Roddy Williams
Written around the same time as Harrison’s close friend and colleague Aldiss’ ‘Hothouse’ this is a relatively uncomplicated adventure, but one which breaks some ground, and which has a surprising longevity and almost cult popularity. It has spawned two immediate sequels and recently it seems Harrison collaborated on several Russian language Deathworld novels which have not (as yet) been released in an English translation.
So, Jason da Lint, bored interstellar gambler and psi practitioner is appro
Mharper Harper
You know when a song comes on the radio from your teen-age years and you fly backwards in time, and later, you wonder if the song really had any quality to it. This is the way I read Harrison's books.

When I was young I read all of the Stainless Steel Rat novels and thought they were cool. They entered into my daydreams.

The set up in the first part of Deathworld is amazing. A population of tough guys-- fearless, smart, and prone to violence-- known the universe over, are locked in a struggle for
Kat  Hooper
Mar 11, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit:

Bored by life, Jason dinAlt is a gambling man, so when a mysterious stranger offers him millions of dollars to gamble with at a government-owned casino, Jason can’t resist, even though failure will probably result in his death. (It helps that Jason has some psi talents, even though they’re a little unpredictable.) After the casino episode, Jason finds that he must quickly depart the planet. When he learns that his mysterious ben
Feb 01, 2012 Christopher rated it really liked it
Science Fiction lacks some of the categorization that Fantasy has, and it suffers for it. On the Fantasy side of the fence, you have Epic Fantasy with its items of power and dark overlords and evil empires and prophecies and young heroes rising from obscurity to change the universe -- and then you Sword & Sorcery which is much smaller in scale -- one guy (usually) getting into a lot of trouble, and then getting out of trouble, but usually without upsetting the socio-political-economic fabric ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Raja99 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
Why I Read This Book: A friend of mine had posted a note about this book on our SF mailing list with a spoiler warning, so I decided to (re)read this book so I could read the note. ;-)

The book is available via Project Gutenberg, and thus was very convenient to load into Stanza on my iPad.

I read and enjoyed this book (actually, the entire trilogy) as a teenager, but remembered very little about it now. (Well, except for the main character's name, talent, and the customary weapon on Pyrrhus.) I en
Al "Tank"
Apr 01, 2015 Al "Tank" rated it really liked it
Jason dinAlt is a gambler who ends up on a VERY dangerous world. His future is highly unlikely to last beyond his first step outside the human compound.

But of course, he does survive (or else the book would have been VERY short) and endeavors to find out why the local flora and fauna are so inimical.

Harrison rarely disappoints me and this book is no exception. It has his usual style and subtle digs at "normalcy". It's not as outrageous as his "Stainless Steel Rat" series, but there are a few "lo
Jim Mcclanahan
Jun 10, 2016 Jim Mcclanahan rated it really liked it
A concise read concerning a hero of unheroic proportions, Jason DinAlt, who embarks on a somewhat quixotic quest to solve a deadly problem of a planet full of organisms, both plant and animal which are bent on killing off the people trying to colonize it. He has "psi" powers which aid him in his quest, but runs into problems not only with the flora and fauna, but also with the stubborn and hostile colonists. An entertaining, if somewhat dated, space opera.
Will Shetterly
Apr 15, 2016 Will Shetterly rated it really liked it
I gave this four stars because I loved it when I was a kid. Haven't the slightest idea what I would think of it now, but my young self is saying it should get five stars while my adult self suspects it's just a good example of pulp science fiction adventure of its time. Four stars seems like a fair compromise.
Aug 09, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Otras formas y otros tiempos.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Jason dinAlt es un aventurero y jugador profesional acostumbrado a luchar contra los grandes casinos del espacio conocido. Cuando Kerk Pyrrus, embajador del planeta Pyrrus de aspecto impresionante y capacidades todavía más sobresalientes, le propone jugar para él con una cantidad enorme de dinero y conseguir una todavía más importante, Jason acepta y acabará metiéndose en toda una aventura. Primer volumen de la saga El Mu
Noel Coughlan
Jun 03, 2016 Noel Coughlan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
Death World is a really entertaining read. Jason dinAlt is the hero, a gambler with psionic abilities who is hired by the ambassador of planet Pyrrus (hint, hint) to engineer a gambling coup. He ends up visiting Pyrrus, the most deadly planet ever colonised by humans. All plant and animal life is predatory, and the colonists are locked in a ceaseless battle with them. The colonists, despite their incredible toughness and discipline are slowly losing the battle. Jason sets out to understand this ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good pulp science fiction. Had I read this forty years I would be raving about it
Kyle Trimper
Brief Synopsis: Jason dinAlt, professional gambler, is approached by the ambassador of a frontier planet with a plan to use a government-run casino to raise money, ostensibly for arms to be taken to the ambassador's home planet. Pursued by government agents trying to recover the won money, dinAlt insists on accompanying the ambassador home, despite being warned that the planet, Pyrrus, is literally a deathworld. Upon arriving on the planet, dinAlt discovers that the warnings he was given are cor ...more
Apr 14, 2015 David rated it liked it
This one really shows its age as Science Fiction. Many of the gadgets, etc. are now reality-- but still-- Harrison pushes the concept of Psi adept folks and that one is still not something we see everyday.

The lead character is a gambler who seems to "feel" the dice. He's given a job by a shady character with a hefty bankroll and goes in and uses his psi ability to make more money than he's ever seen in his life. At this point characterization begins to break down a bit. He decides that gambling
May 13, 2016 Kristoffer rated it really liked it
This book was great. It didn't feel dated at all despite its age. Harry Harrison did a fantastic job portraying an interesting character's experience on a strange and extremely dangerous world that is barely understood by its human residents. The humans characters, other than the main character, were all somewhat more impulsive and narrow minded than many would consider realistic. The conditions on the planet do somewhat excuse this, but those characters all seem to share each others' mindset an ...more
Feb 07, 2014 Lammoth rated it it was amazing
Оригиналната трилогията на Хари Харисън се оказа не само много приятна приключенска поредица в космоса, но и истинска епопея на рационалното мислене, осмиващо суеверното начало и неговото тесногръдие.

Джейсън динАлт е авантюрист, който мами с хитрост и умения казината из вселената. Един ден получава необичайна поръчка, която го довежда на Пиръс - изключително опасна планета, чиято сурова среда е накарала еволюцията да създаде смъртоносни за човека отровни растения и чудовищни животни. Като спомен
Nov 23, 2015 Gary rated it liked it
Human beings have come to inhabit a world that is completely toxic to them. Gravity is twice normal, weather is brutal, geologically the planet still seems in an early stage of formation with constant volcanic eruptions and frequent quakes, and most importantly, all animal and plant life is venomous and hostile. In the beginning, the novel gives some hints of how society morphs to adapt to such an environment, and I thought that would be an idea to pursue further--but that is not this book.

Jan 21, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Ah, a real, hard science fiction book that read just as well now as it did over 40 years ago. It was a pleasure, although I found the end slightly hard to swallow. People talk about writers like Ray Bradbury and others making predictions about hardware in the future that came true. I thought I found one in this book. On page 87, Harrison describes a communication system that sounds eerily like group calling on Skype. If you have two people on your screen in Skype, the one who is talking flashes ...more
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Goodreads Authors...: Deathworld by Harry Harrison 5 146 May 10, 2012 03:09AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Deathworld by Harry Harrison 1 2 Feb 25, 2012 10:48AM  
Pulp Magazine Aut...: Deathworld by Harry Harrison 13 18 Nov 18, 2011 07:04PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Deathworld, by Harry Harrison 5 34 Sep 05, 2011 08:24AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G
More about Harry Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

Deathworld (3 books)
  • Deathworld 2
  • Deathworld 3

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“Minder of my body you may be. But minder of my soul you are not. What do you say I call the shots and you go along to shoot the monsters? O.K.?” 1 likes
“That was foolish of me," she said coldly while she reloaded the gun. "I don't need a gun. If I had to kill him, I could do it with my bare hands." "I love you, too," Jason smiled at her.” 1 likes
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