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Svet se kaže šuma (Hainish Cycle #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  8,815 Ratings  ·  680 Reviews
The Word for World Is Forest is a sf novel by Ursula K. Le Guin, published in '76, based on a '72 Hainish Cycle novella.

Centuries in the future, Terrans have established a logging colony & military base named "New Tahiti" on a tree-covered planet whose small, green-furred, big-eyed inhabitants have a culture centered on lucid dreaming. Terran greed spirals around nativ
Paperback, 104 pages
Published 1980 by Jugoslavija (first published March 1972)
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Abhinav Kapur they are loosely related in that it's the same universe and some of the over-arching concepts are repeated throughout.

For example, they talk about…more
they are loosely related in that it's the same universe and some of the over-arching concepts are repeated throughout.

For example, they talk about the ansible in The Word for World is Forest, a device that didn't yet exist (but was essentially the core work for the main protagonist) in The Dispossessed.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Oct 25, 2015 Kevin Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hugo, _library, read-2015
Terrific novella, obviously influential to James Cameron's Avatar (which I now believe can be 100% constructed from elements of Old Man's War & The Word for World is Forest). Also very influential to the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. More on that in a second.

It's a moralistic story, and it had some insightful things to say about dangerous ideas entering the public consciousness. Basically, there is no going back. Here, specifically in relation to the concept of murder.

I enjoyed the waking dre
"Maybe after I die people will be as they were before I was born, and before you came. But I do not think they will."
In every book by Le Guin there is that special something for me, something that grabs a firm hold of my mind and heart and stubbornly hangs on, refusing to let go, burrowing deeply, growing roots, sprouting shoots that will go on to quietly, unobtrusively, almost imperceptibly change my mental landscape forever - by making me really think, by challenging established ideas, preco
Jun 15, 2014 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If it’s all the rest of us who are killed by the suicide, it’s himself who the murderer kills”

So muses author Ursula K. LeGuin in her 1972 novel The Word for World is Forest. The winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novella, LeGuin’s mastery of the language and the genre are in full display as well as her remarkable imaginative powers.

Revisiting her “Hainish” cycle of works (not a series of books but rather a group of stand alone works with a thematic central core – somewhat simi
Dec 27, 2016 Markus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2016
Another excellent instalment in the Hainish Cycle. Ursula le Guin has become one of my favourite authors ever despite the fact that none of her writing has really astounded me. There is just something about each one of her books that makes them both enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Also, this book has proto-ewoks.
May 05, 2017 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
They were here, in Centralville, twenty-seven lightyears from Earth by NAFAL and four hours from Smith Camp by hopper, the second batch of breeding females for the New Tahiti Colony, all sound and clean, 212 head of prime human stock.

Written in 1972, this second book in the Hainish cycle is chillingly prescient about the modern world we are living in today. Although the main theme is deforestation, echoes of "The Handmaid's Tale" and of conservative attitudes regarding economic imperatives, le
Sep 16, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2010
In all honesty, the basic premise of this novella is the one I've read/seen many times before both in fiction (the latest version is James Cameron's "Avatar") and reality.

A group of evil and greedy Terrans is in a process of colonizing a new planet - Athshe. What it means, as you can guess, is that Terrans destroy Athshe's ecosystem by cutting down the planet's forests and sending wood to their mother planet Earth (which by this time is nothing but a barren desert) and enslave and abuse the nat
Jul 10, 2011 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sf-top-20
Good short books are profitable reads, therefore great ones are greatly profitable. I am thinking of the time invested in reading the entire book and the pleasure, inspiration or education gained from them. This book clocks in at 189 pages but Le Guin made every word count.

Like most of Ms. Le Guin's works this is a thought provoking story. What happen when we introduce evil into a hitherto innocent and passive culture? The Athsheans are very vivid creations, the story of their enslavement and e
Úrsula nos presenta un planeta perdido de la mano de dios donde el hombre pretende colonizarlo. Con un trasfondo filosófico y una mediática guerra entre dioses nadie estará a salvo de la cruenta batalla a la que se enfrentan.

Me ha parecido realmente sublime. Pone a los todopoderosos hombres sobre las cuerdas y hace ver que seres menos evolucionado como son los crichis también pueden tener sentimientos y en ocasiones liderar una auténtica revolución.

Vídeo reseña:
Arielle Walker
And people still think Avatar had an original concept.
(Though I'll admit the visuals are gorgeous)

Le Guin did it first, and did it better. The Word for World is Forest is heartwrenchingly beautiful, all the more for its continued relevence nearly half a century since first publication.

Her introduction to this edition is also exquisite, and discusses not only the need and reasoning behind the writing of this story, but also the need for the creation of any such story.

"The pursuit of art, by ar
I've come to regard Ursula K. Le Guin very highly and think she's become one of my favourite authors. Her stories are beautiful and deep and always touch me in a way that is hard to describe. For any who've yet to pick up one of her novels, I can't recommend her work enough.

The different perspectives given in this story are so contrary and the light it sheds so illuminating. The conflict is unavoidable and the reactions are sometimes so misguided but always completely believable.

One of the thin
My love for LeGuin's work just keeps growing with every book of hers I read, even when she does everything she can to break my heart. Her novels are always thought-provoking, and she can make a small page count pack one Hell of a punch: at a mere 128 pages, "The Word for World is Forest" still left me devastated. This is a story about hatred and violence, the harm they cause in the long and short term; it's about colonialism and the preservation of aboriginal cultures, deforestation, militarism… ...more
Dec 04, 2010 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ecological, ethics
Hainish Wars: Episode VI
Return of the Anthropologist


A strange little green furry face with huge black eyes comes slowly into view. The creature is an ATHSHEAN, by the name of SELVER. He seems somewhat puzzled, and prods LJUBOV with the butt end of a spear. The anthropologist groans; this frightens the stubby ball of green fuzz and SELVER prods him again. LJUBOV sits up and stares at the three-foot-high Athshean. He tries to figure
Jan 22, 2011 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, favorites
Great book by a great writer. If you've not yet read any Ursula K. Le Guin, then start with this book. If you've only read a couple by Le Guin and are wondering what next to sample, follow up with this book next.

I've only read two other titles by Le Guin, but I wish I had started here first. Le Guin's work is dense and requires some work on the part of the reader, but this book (actually just a novella) is far more accessible and serves as a great introduction to themes and concepts used in her
Sarah Anne
I need to think about my rating. The story has some very important messages but I wish I'd never read it. But everything else deserves five stars.

EDIT: So this book had a really strong effect on me and I feel that it deserves five stars for that alone. Emotionally I really struggled with this story and found it quite devastating. I also found it terribly realistic and totally heartbreaking. Yes, there's a part of me that wishes I had never read it but I also think it was really well done and abs
Ben Flasher
Much as I'm in agreement with this book's message of environmentalism and nonviolence, I found its delivery of that message to be preachy, joyless, and heavy-handed. Its tale of colonist humans and their conflict with the native Athsheans transplants the worst atrocities of colonialism's past into the future, but loses any subtlety and nuance in the process.

It doesn't help that the Athsheans embody just about every romanticized stereotype of the native primitive. Like the most Disneyfied take on
My friend Josh described this as the book James Cameron ripped off to make Avatar, to which I replied, "Can you really rip off imperialist guilt? Also, hello, dragons." While I stand by both of those assertions, Cameron clearly lifted heavily from this book, so, ok Josh, you at least half win. Like basically all suckers for the Pocahontas trope, though, Cameron failed to grasp the central irony of said trope, namely that it redeems the oppressor while continuing to rob the oppressed of their age ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I sat, polite, but wanting desperately to excuse myself from the spilt paint, methodical cacophony of clumsy dialogue, garish colors, interludes of mind numbing dead air, segueing into blindingly confusing scenes of (horrible) video game action, and a story that was told to death 70 years ago by people who had had so much passion for the worlds they were creating. A film which quite literally created a world with $300,000,000 worth of CGI, horrifically failing to trump the real juice… ... ...more
Jan 28, 2017 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is not a new premise. Humanity brings devastation to a new colony and destroys the forested world and its inhabitants. We've seen it many times. Avatar comes to mind among others. Ursula Le Guin tells the tale in a unique and interesting way. Her descriptions of the world, the inhabitants and the scenery is great. Chapters are told from different viewpoints and every character has a distinct voice. In fact the change in tone and style and in word choice is amazing to follow. All in all a gu ...more
Roy Lotz
This here’s another book-club read. Because I didn’t pick it, I came into this short novel with almost no expectations, which is always a nice way to begin a book; for when you have no expectations, everything good tastes sweeter, and everything bad less bitter.

Le Guin’s little parable was a pleasant surprise. She is a fine writer, especially when she is describing scenery. Her prose is not workmanlike, but generally well crafted. I also found it pleasant that she switched her narrator’s perspec
Jun 29, 2010 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Tor recently re-released the Hugo winner The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin in a lovely paperback edition, so I thought it finally was time to check out this famous short novel, originally published in the seventies.

The novel is part of Le Guin’s famous HAINISH CYCLE (see also, among others, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed) but can be read completely separately, although being familiar with the larger story will give you a better understanding of the broader context
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This short novel is a super-quick read and seems hardly dated at all, perhaps because it is more about humanity and colonisation than space travel or aliens. Everything and anything can be viewed as a representation or allusion or allegory, and The Word for World is Forest is just as easily about what humans have already done to each other as it is about our potential wrongdoing in the future.

In this futuristic world, the Earth has been depleted of resources and other planets have been colonise
May 18, 2015 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Once I got over the feeling that I was reading the book version of the film "Avatar" I came to rather enjoy this short novel.

I've long been a fan of her work but haven't read any of her books for a while and so took a long time coming to this. Pretty much knowing the plot in advance I was worried that it would be overly didactic. Indeed, the author's own introduction warned me that this would be the case. So well armed with this expectation I gritted my teeth and got stuck in and consequently di
Sep 02, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Gutting. Even reading this after its copycats on page and screen(::cough, Avatar::), I still find it powerful. And sure, I don't think the premise was new then either, but Le Guin brings her own eye and ear to this story, telling it with sociological and ecological detail that others would probably leave out. Her lovely language, too, but also her anthropological eye as she examines literal little green men (and women) with an entirely different mindset and physiology from our own. And Davidson, ...more
LeGuin's prose shines, her worlds are balanced and fantastic and sad, she neither flinches from nor condemns the human condition. Every time I return to her I feel like I'm drinking from some wise, secret well.

Much of the book's descriptive attitude parallels James C Scott's notions of legibility and metis in SEEING LIKE A STATE. Anthropology is the common ancestor, of course, but I wonder about the proper genealogy of these ideas.
Jun 22, 2012 Dorothea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part evocative and subtle, part heavy-handed but still compelling.

This is a novella about the devastation a human colony wreaks on a forested world and its inhabitants, and how the inhabitants must fight back despite their habitual peacefulness -- written by a U.S. author during the U.S.'s participation in the Vietnam War.

... You see why it might be heavy-handed.

The story is told from three alternating perspectives. We open with Captain Davidson, a macho human-chauvinist, the author of many outr
Apr 25, 2017 Origen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi primer Le Guin, pero no el último.
Even longer review available on my blog: http://mimisworldofstories.blogspot.b...

This should be an obligatory read for high school kids (or for anyone, really).
There's a lot of points about racism and ecology, and the cool thing is, this book looks at both sides of the equation.
It's scary to see how Davidson's thought process justifies his actions, how everything he did seemed like the only right way to him.
In a way, he could be considered a hero (he is fighting tooth and nail for what he beli
I first came across this title via Wayne Barlowe's Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials ; and when I was at the library this last time around, I said to myself: How can you have gotten this far without reading any Ursula K. Le Guin? those short stories just aren't going to cut it, you know! But when they didn't have A Wizard of Earthsea , I decided to go for this one. Mostly because it was short. (And I figured: Why not sneak in another book to put me two ahead of pace for this year's goal? [1 ...more
Aug 23, 2015 Mazzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this straightforward tale Ursula K. Le Guin extrapolates what humans did on this planet to a science fiction universe. This short part of the Hainish Cycle works well; a story about how humans (try to) colonize a planet inhabited by natives who live in close touch with nature (and how wrong that is and it needs to fail) is nothing groundbreaking – maybe back when she wrote it much more than today – but she delivers the story in her own style and with her genuine ideas – politically and sociol ...more
May 28, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Word for World Is Forest is an unusual addition to the Gollancz SF Masterworks series, yet a terrific one.

Being little more than 100 pages (and that includes a three-page Introduction by Ken MacLeod and a six page Introduction by the author herself) it was the winner of the Hugo Award in 1973 for Best Novella.

Despite its brevity, it is a masterclass in the case of the adage that sometimes ‘less is more’. Like Fritz Leiber’s equally brief Award-winning novella The Big Time (won in 1958 and re
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Count 7 26 Apr 21, 2015 12:07PM  
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  • Warm Worlds and Otherwise
  • Nightwings
  • Alastor (Alastor #1-3)
  • Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia
  • Raising the Stones (Arbai, #2)
  • Dreamsnake
  • Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2)
  • The Dream Master
  • The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories
  • The Inverted World
  • Norstrilia
  • Slow River
  • The Color of Distance
  • Transfigurations
  • The Man Who Bridged the Mist
  • China Mountain Zhang
As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

Other Books in the Series

Hainish Cycle (9 books)
  • The Dispossessed
  • Rocannon's World
  • Planet of Exile
  • City of Illusions
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Four Ways to Forgiveness
  • The Telling (Hainish Cycle #8)
  • Os Despojados, Vol. 1

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“A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest.” 18 likes
“For if it's all the rest of us who are killed by the suicide, it's himself whom the murderer kills; only he has to do is over, and over, and over.” 13 likes
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