Rocannon's world

136 pages

English language

Published July 10, 1977 by Harper & Row.

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4 stars (6 reviews)

Earth-scientist Rocannon has been leading an ethnological survey on a remote world populated by three native races: the cavern-dwelling Gdemiar, the elvish Fiia, and the warrior clan, Liuar. But when the technologically primitive planet is suddenly invaded by a fleet of ships from the stars, rebels against the League of All Worlds, Rocannon is the only survey member left alive. Marooned among alien peoples, he leads the battle to free this newly discovered world and finds that legends grow around him as he fights.

13 editions

Least-favorite LeGuin

3 stars

Ansible—the open-source “infrastructure as code” tool—borrowed its name from this novel.

In the story, an ansible is a faster-than-light (FTL) communication device—words typed on one ansible appear instantaneously light-years away.

This factoid was chief among my reasons for reading this book.

I also read it for completeness sake—“Rocannon’s World” is the first novel in the Hainish Cycle—Ursula K. Le Guin’s epic future history, which includes one of my all-time favorite books: “The Dispossessed.”

But this was my least-favorite Le Guin story I’ve read thus far (although that’s a high bar).

The story was nothing more than your average 1960s sci-fi/bronze-aged castles with flying cats mashup.

While that sounds exciting, the actual book was slow.

There needed to be more plot for such a plot-driven story.


I ride with Olhor, who seeks to hear his enemy’s voice, who has traveled through the great dark, who has seen the World hang …

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