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Le Guin, Ursula K.
THREE HAINISH NOVELS
(reprint) omnibus: 1978
Book= VG to VG+
Omnibus of: ROCANNON'S WORLD (1966) + PLANET OF EXILE (1966) + CITY OF ILLUSIONS (1967.) All 3 of these were paperback originals (the first 2 were halves of Ace-Doubles.)
Rocannon's World (1966.) The prelude is "Dowry of the Angyar" from Amazing September 1964. For a first novel, this is remarkably complex and assured in execution. Small wonder for someone who would become one of the giants of the SF field.
In fear of the return of an extra-galactic enemy, the League of All Worlds trained and armed a hundred worlds, and set many more on the road to technology. Fomalhaut II is a world with several High-Intelligence-Life-Forms - 3 primitive and humanoid races: the cave-dwelling Gdemiar, the elvish Fiia, and the warrior Liuar. Control and taxation missions developed the Gdemiar to a Class-C technology level, and taxed them and the Liuar to aid in the League's long-term preparation for war (and left the other HILF''s unsurveyed.) To primitives, the idea of time-dilation in near-light speed travel is meaningless - but the effects are magical. Ethnologist Gaveral Rocannon witnesses this when he met a woman of the Liuar who was already part of becoming a legend. Rocannon was the whistle-blower who stopped the development and taxation pending a more adequate survey of the intelligent species. Fifty years passed before he came to Fomalhaut II as head of an Ethnological Survey, but he found his own doings of a few years back have become the gestures of a god.
When a rebelious neighbor world invades and blows up his starship, murdering all of his friends and companions, and then begins subduing the locals with helicopters and laser weapons, Rocannon is marooned. The only method of interstellar communication is in the hands of the enemy, far away on the South Continent. Rocannon feels a responsibility to the races of this planet - encouraged by the League, and then abandonned (because of Rocannon), and then invaded with no help to come. All he had to do was travel through hundreds of kilometers of unmapped territory, turn their game against them and use the enemy's ansible to send a message to alert the League! He did have one thing in his favor - since the invaders thought they had killed him with his ship, they would not be expecting him... And so he led the battle to free his new world - and found that legends grew around him even as he fought.
Planet of Exile (1966) - LeGuin's second SF novel. The Earth colony of Landin had been stranded on distant Eltanin for 10 years. But ten of Eltanin's years were 600 Terrestrial years, and the lonely and dwindling human settlement was beginning to feel the strain. Every winter - a season which lasted for fifteen of our years - the Earthmen had neighbors. These were the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settled down when they burrowed in for the cruel long cold spell. Yet the hilfs feared the Earthmen, whom they thought of as witches and called the farborns. And their fear kept the lost colony lonely. But hilfs and farborns had common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called Gaals and the eerie preying snowghouls. And in the terrible winter of the Tenth Year, the only hope of hilf and farborn was to join forces - or be annihilated.
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