'The Word for World is Forest" Ursula Le Guin

Discussion in 'Ursula K Le Guin' started by rai, Nov 8, 2011.

  1.  
    rai

    rai Well-Known Member

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    I read this story back in the 80s in the anthology "Again Dangerous Visions" as a novella. Now, I read the novel version. I am not sure of how the two differ, have to re-read the novella to compare the two. But the book version is a very short novel.

    This was written in 1972 and has undertones of the Vietnam war.

    I have to wonder how much influence this book had on George Lucas (Ewoks (same as Creechie) and "The Return of the Jedi" planet name of Endor is close to the city name of Endtor of this book).

    The story is very heavy and the second main character has resemblance to Kurtz of
    'Heart of Darkness' and 'Apocalypse Now'

    if you guys don't know:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Word_for_World_Is_Forest

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  2.  
    rai

    rai Well-Known Member

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    J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    It's my understanding that it's the same novella, just sold separately as a book.

    Interesting parallels but, speaking of movies influenced by it (while I haven't seen Avatar, so don't know), it's my understanding that Avatar is basically ripped off from WFWIF.

    I don't remember having a problem when I first read it (also in the 80s, but from The Hugo Winners, Volume III) but, on a re-read, I found it to be a bit too stridently preachy to work for me as fiction. But it's a famous and well-liked story (as evinced by the Hugo win).
     
  4.  
    rai

    rai Well-Known Member

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    Avatar was very like WFWIF in the basic idea (ie man going to exploit a forest planet). But the aliens are much different in these two (whereas the Ewoks are very similar to the Creechie).

    If you have not seen Avatar yet it is really one of the best visual movies of all time.

    One thing, in the book that does not make any sense (to me) is the humans are shipping trees (wood) back to earth. Thats a 27 year voyage with lord knows what the cost for a material that even if it's extinct on earth, should be able to be replaced by plastic (you would think).

    At least in Avatar there is a metal which doesn't exist anywhere else called Un-obtanium if I recall. This makes more logical sense to me.

    I'm not saying it's the best story of all time or that Avatar was the best sci-fi movie, but if anyone hasn't read it yet or seen the movie both are worth the time.
     
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    Thadlerian

    Thadlerian Riftsound resident

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    Read the book, see the movie. Vastly different stories. There is some similarities with the premise - humans exploiting nature, only to be driven off by nature/nature-dwellers, but pretty much everything in-between (like plot, characters and character development) could hardly have been more different.

    Go see Avatar. Don't let its popularity scare you away :p
     
  6.  
    J-Sun

    J-Sun

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    Well, it's not its popularity, but it's WfW-ness. Even if different, the similarities didn't make it appealing to me - or the CGI-ness of it. But Cameron has made three of my favorite movies (T&T2, Aliens) so maybe I should give it a try. (Then again, everything else he's done has been... very much not three of my favorite movies. ;) )
     
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    steve12553

    steve12553 The Enigma of Steel

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    I didn't completely finish Again Dangerous Visions but I read this one, probly in the mid to late 70's. I still have the book and will have to read it again after I get the cast off my left hand (it's a large volume). With what I remember I could see the Viet Nam/ Avatar concepts. Interesting.
     
  8.  
    Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    I just read it for the first time and picked up on the alien-world religious experience theme, as in Silverberg's Downward to the Earth.
     
  9.  
    Patrick Mahon

    Patrick Mahon Would-be author

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    I bought a copy a few months back, but haven't yet got round to reading it. I'll dig it out now, and see what I think.

    And the thread also reminds me that it's time I actually watched my DVD of Avatar. Another thing I bought months ago, and haven't got round to watching.

    Perhaps there aren't enough hours in the day... :)
     
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