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Deathworld Paperback – March 11, 2005
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
The books are classics -- the main character, Jason dinAlt, is a gambler and a scoundrel, with an ability to influence luck in his favor. He's recruited to help raise money for the inhabitants of Pyrrus, and has to follow the girl sent to arrange the deal to see the place for himself.
In the second book, dinAlt is kidnapped by a self-righteous man angry at his home planet's making dinAlt a hero, inspiring others to gamble. He plans to take dinAlt back to face trial, but things go awry and they both end up enslaved on a primitive desert world. DinAlt's luck and knowledge allow him to survive.
In the third and final book, many of the key people from Pyrrus join dinAlt in taming other planets. Their first assignment is a tough one, a planet of fierce nomadic warriors. DinAlt must learn their ways in order to defeat them.
This volume also includes "The Mothballed Spaceship", a short story featuring dinAlt and other Pyrrans not included in the original volume.
It's interesting, by the way, to read a science fiction novel written fifty years ago (and a bit appalling to realize that's how long it's been). For one thing, it always surprises me that virtually no SF author of that time predicted computers or any other form of digital electronics, and their idea of miniaturization was laughable by today's standards. The starship pilots do the math for plotting a hyperspace jump in their heads, assisted by a calculator. (Writing a decade earlier, Heinlein's pilots used slide rules.) You would expect folks like that to be experienced predictors, but it almost never happened.
Jason dinAlt is a professional gambler with a knack for winning far more often than he loses -- with the assistance of an undependable psi talent. He takes on a commission from a representative of the planet Pyrrus to build a very large take into a huge sum at the casino on another world, which he duly accomplishes. Pyrrus, he's told is the deadliest world ever to be colonized by humans and the money is crucial to its survival. Jason has basically run out of challenges in his life and after hearing this description, he decides to go and take a look for himself. And Pyrrus certainly lives up to its reputation: Every living thing there, from the microorganisms and the grass on up, seems intent on killing the colonists. And if the fauna and flora don't do you in, the tectonics and the climate will.Read more ›
Imagine a planet where the grass has curved, needle sharp tips, you sit on a rock and the lichen tries to get you, all the animals have one thing in common - kill the human invaders. Imagine that to survive you need to attend a pre-school for colonists and your survival skills never extend beyond "first grade". This is Deathworld.
If you never read another SF, at least read his finest - Deathworld.
On the other side, the humans who inhabit this planet, who came there to start a mining colony in the distant past, have developed almost superhuman traits, in order to survive. They are strong, fast and their technology has developed for the sole purpose of survival. They are the ultimate survivalists. Harry, through a series of circumstances is taken to this planet and becomes quite involved with their struggle, even though he is completely unfit to live for even ten minutes on the surface of this world.
This is a very well written world, full of adventure and action and is funny at the same time. The author's sense of humor constantly shines through and is reflected in his writing. Not only is the plot rather good, but Harrison is a master in character development. You actually get to know, in a very short time, each of the characters, and for good or bad, actually like them.
For a good, rather fast and fun read, you could certainly do worse than this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Death world and its two sequels provide you with a thinking man's science fiction action adventure story. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Joseph A. Veca
The book was very interesting reading. The ending felt like a quick wrap up after long and interesting reading. Very good narration.Published 1 month ago by dg1113
A fun read. Not new, but still entertaining. He builds a very cool world with a likable hero.Published 1 month ago by D.A. Cooper
I first became interested in this book after seeing an interview with John Carpenter. He claimed this book was the basis for Escape From New York. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Maniscalco
DEATHWORLD was the favorite book, and Harry Harrison the favorite author, of a friend of mine when I was in college. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Walter Stanley
Liked the interplay between the characters. It kept my interest throughout the whole book. I would defiantly recommend it to others.Published 4 months ago by Dan the Man
I first read the Deathworld novels years ago. I like them all. Harry Harrison builds believable characters and weaves an excellent story.Published 5 months ago by James D. Cassity