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The Deathworld Trilogy (Deathworld #1-3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,819 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
On Pyrrus, colonists have fought a centuries-old war with native life forms which adapt to human tactics & technology, evolving new species so rapidly that natives returning from even brief trips offplanet must be carried in protective armor canisters from their ship to safe buildings, where they learn of the latest threats. The 1st three stories were initially publish ...more
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published 1968 by Nelson Doubleday, Inc. (Garden City, NY)
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Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short take:

One thing I really liked about these stories is the speed at which Harrison switches up the plot. Jason will concoct a plan, set about putting it into place and then a sudden curve ball forces him and his band to adapt. The characters are fairly straightforward, with the only major change being the growing acceptance that Pyrran's show towards Jason as he proves himself resourceful and resilient time and again. I myself, liked him more as a protagonist the further that I read.

A few
John Kirk
As the name suggests, this collects three books together, imaginatively titled "Deathworld 1", "Deathworld 2", and (wait for it) "Deathworld 3". Based on the introduction, "Deathworld 1" may have been Harrison's first published work; there are certainly themes that he went on to develop more in his other novels. For instance, the concept of someone tech-savvy being dumped on a planet where they've forgotten how to use most technology came up in a few of the Stainless Steel Rat books, and "Jason ...more
Tim Hamilton
Fun when you're young. Probably does not stand up well if you read it as an adult.
F. P.
This was my first attempt at reading anything from Harrison, and I absolutely LOVE his clear writing style. But I absolutely hate most of his content here.

I almost never judge book insides by their covers or titles, so I figured I'll try this one, especially because I loved the casino-stuff in the beginning. But there is wall-to-wall barbarism and cruelty farther in.

The read first started going to shit for me when it turned into a stereotypical patriarchal fantasy over a nineteen-year old who
Charles Dee Mitchell
I have not chosen well when it comes to my reading of the Grand Masters of Science Fiction. I have searched out early honorees by whom I had previously neither read nor been inclined to read anything. BIg surprise. I haven't much liked anything I've come across. Some of it I have admired and found historically interesting, but nothing have I been crazy about,

And now I've done it again with Harry Harrison. Years of working with used books made me familiar with Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat serie
Kevin Jonker
The books get less good with each sequel. I would give the first one five stars, the second one four, and the third three. That averages into four, for what it's worth.
Steven Reiz
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: livingroom
Ok action about very tough humans, though the first book is definitely the best.
“The Deathworld Trilogy” is old-school sci-fi writing, with plenty of action, derring-do, hard science and hardscrabble living on alien worlds. However, it also features an engaging anti-hero, the gambling, conniving, fast-talking, war-starting, gun-toting Jason dinAlt, a man whose morals shift with every new planet he encounters.

Jason is a realist and pragmatist, a man blessed with infinite reserves of strength, stamina, cunning, intelligence and sheer luck. He manages to pull success from alm
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Deathworld Trilogy
Harry Harrison
Berkley Publishing Corporation
1976 (original copyright - 1960, 1964, 1968)

In this first book, Jason, a gambler with a psi advantage is pulled into a plot to raise funds for a mysterious individual and the planet he represents. Eventually Jason ends up on this planet, the most dangerous planet in the galaxy.

Jason, as a character suffers from being better and smarter than everyone else, and he can be rather smug about it. The other characters are rath
Dale Renton
Deathworld was written in 1960 and - like myself - is showing its age a little. But not too much to discourage you from reading what is a bit of a SF classic. There are "future-tech" references to tapes and wires where we digital age people already consider such technologies as borderline archaic. There are explicit and implied social values reflective of an age where the role of women, in particular, was somewhat more passive and restricted than now. The protagonist, Jason Dinalt, is a little o ...more
Finished the first two and currently onto the third. I found it a bit disconcerting that though the title of the second book in the series is "Deathworld 2" it deals with a different planet... And the fact that the protagonist suddenly obtained additional skills not mentioned in the first. In the first book he has the psi ability (used to control objects, read the moods, command animals) and he's a successful gambler. In the second book suddenly he's a technician, he knows a whole bunch about ch ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Harrison fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I started reading the Deathworld books as a little kid, picking up the original novel at Knack's Drugstore in Bridgman, Michigan while still in elementary school. By my immature standards it was very sexy and the violence exciting, so I picked up the second one when it became available as well. By 1968, when the three were bound in one hardcover available through The Science Fiction Bookclub, I ordered it and read the last of the three volumes, no longer anywhere near as impressed as I was previ ...more
Samuel Lubell
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, paperback
The first book is really good classic sf. A gambler is coerced into helping a planet that needs weapons. He goes and visits it, discovering that all the life forms have become hostile to humans yet some humans are able to live outside the highly defended city. The second and third books are not as good. In the second, Jason is kidnapped and becomes a slave on a primitive planet, where different tribes keep different aspects of technology as tribal secrets. Naturally Jason is able to reinvent the ...more
Dec 12, 2010 added it
Shelves: hardcover-h
See my reviews for the individual novels: Deathworld 1 , Deathworld 2 , and Deathworld 3 . I actually re-read these novels with short breaks between them, and I read them from the recent Benbella hardcover, which includes "The Mothballed Spaceship", a Deathworld short story that Harrison wrote as a memorial to John Campbell, Jr. when Campbell died. (One of my good friends gave me this older edition after he got the Benbella hardcover.)
Doug Dandridge
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Harrison
Kind of an anachronism, but still good.
The Deathworld trilogy is three novels/novelettes in one. The stories
revolve around a group of people who colonize a world that really doesn't
want them there. Everything that creeps, crawls or flies attacks the
colonists with tooth, claw and stinger. Even some plants get in on the
act. An outsider is brought in who determines what the problem is, and
gives them a temporary solution. The others stories are about the efforts
of the colonists, who are all st
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this a while ago, just catching up.

Any one of these novellas deserves a higher rating than three stars. They are excellent, classic science fiction. However, there is both painful repetition (philosophical themes) and a lack of continuity in some character attributes. Trying not to get into spoiler territory here.

Each of the novellas has its own attributes that makes it interesting and fun despite these complaints, and they all have a place in science fiction history. So, despite the lu
Aug 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent but not great old-school style SF story about a gambler on the run who lands on a crazy planet where everything including the plants is trying to kill the colonists. It turns out the plants are sensitive to psionic energy and the colonists' hate causes the plants to evolve to be even more deadly. There is a stereotypical gorgeous but strong young sexpot and lots of swashbuckling and wise-cracking. No science was really explored and the characters weren't all that engaging. Ther ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the interest of fairness and semi- i mean self- transparency, I must and I do confess that before I retourned to reading serious fikshan, such as Middlemarch, I fell from grace almost completely, and wallowed in trash:
three novels by Harry Harrison. I still love the first one, having read it probably every few months all through my very young teen years. No 2 and 3 kinda suck. I can only imagine how terrible are the later sequels, the ones he wrote just for the Russian market. (I'm not kiddin
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read by one of the classic writers of science fiction. I read Deathworld many years ago as a teenager. I had never read Deathworld 2 and 3 until now. I bought this book at a used bookstore and I am glad I did. Some of the older science fiction from the 60's and before is pretty dated but except for a couple of small things these books have withstood the test of time. I recommend these books to anyone who enjoys Space Opera, action, or military type science fiction.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun & adventure, this contains 3 adventures of Jason, a gambler with a touch of psi ability that makes him a very comfortable living at the craps table. In the first story, he meets up with the Pyrann's, humans from possibly the most dangerous planet in the explored universe. In the second, he is kidnapped & winds up playing something similar to the Connecticut Yankee. In the third, he works on a new home for the Pyranns. It's funny, somewhat educational & always interesting.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was turned on to this through a friend in high school -- kind of a grittier take on the same turf trod by Harrison in "The Stainless Steel Rat" (which is superb). First book is the best; second is more like Robinson Crusoe in space; third is a reworking of the Genghis Khan story. All are buoyed up by the hero's acid humor and some clever situations. First installment also deserves to be filmed, although I wonder if at this point people would make unfair comparisons to "Avatar". Sigh.
Matt Dalzell
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Pretty solid old school sci-fi if you are looking for a light read. I really dug some of the more hippie-ish overtones that you don't always see in sci-fi (care for the environment, pitfalls of closed source technology).

There are big plot-holes and unanswered questions throughout the three novels, but if you're worried about those you're probably thinking to much. Just sit back and enjoy your anti-hero getting out of increasingly improbable situations.
Shari Scott
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book; didn't like the second one much; the third one was okay. I found the unique qualities of the first book were totally lost in the second and third, and I don't understand why he went so far afield from a winning combination of character, plot, and suspense. Too bad.
Just got a copy of the science fiction book club copy of this trilogy. I used to own a copy back when, haven't read it but the one time in the 70s, and so (like many books I used to own) I've just bought a copy to replace the long-lost one in my library. I'll report back in when I finally get to rereading it. I'm sure it'll be somewhat dated, but I recall it as a fun read.

Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it
The first book is a fantastic (and fantastically silly) sci-fi adventure. It's pulpy and ridiculous and fun. The second book is a terribly-written polemic defending a ridiculous position. It's full of straw men and boring discussions. It's barely a novel. The third book is totally ok all the way around. I would recommend just reading the first one.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
В книге три романа - Неукротимая планета, Специалист по этике, Мир смерти, а также рассказ Линкор в нафталине. Бодрая такая крепкая сай-фай. Главный герой - хитрый, умный, прагматичный и зовется Язоном, что должно начитанным людям намекать. В целом отличный сборник, и не зря на обложке вынесен теглайн "заезды мировой фантастики".
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
The first book that I read when I started keeping my second book list in April of 1975. The one I read was the Science Fiction Book Club printing of the original hardcover from 1968. Since it is now 2010, I remember liking the three books (Deathworld, Deathworld 2, and Deathworld 3) but that is about all.
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard sf readers or if you study the Golden Age for historical reasons
Shelves: science-fiction
The first part of the trilogy was okay. Nothing outstanding but a solid adventure. The second part I liked much less. It's something I would have enjoyed in my youth but not anymore. The last part I didn't finish at all. It's a typical pulp SF book that has nothing to offer but dusty entertainment. Skip it.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the reasons Harry Harrison is one of my top three favorite science fiction authors. I have read this book at least three times, that I can recall. Each time, I'm amazed at how absorbing it is. Some day, I'll expand this review....
molto divertente narrativamente. Un racconto per alcuni aspetti simile a quelli di Vance. E poi vogliamo mettere? Il titolo parla di un solo pianeta impossibile, in realtà nel racconto ne icontriamo ben tre, impossibili sotto diversi aspetti. Certamente le peculiarità di Pyrrus sono ... letali
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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 1
  • Deathworld 2
  • Deathworld 3

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