Ursula K. LeGuin. The Word for World is Forest
Hainish Cycle science fiction novels.
The order presented here is the internal chronology of the series,
Not the order in which the books were written.
1) The Dispossessed 1974
2) The Word for World is Forest 1976
3) Rocannon’s World 1966
4) Planet of Exile 1966
5) City of Illusions 1967
6) The Left Hand of Darkness 1969
7) The Telling 2000
= The Word for World is Forest =
Two pieces of yesterday were in Captain Davidson’s mind when he woke, and he lay looking at them in the darkness for a while. One up: the new shipload of women had arrived. Believe it or not. They were here, in Centralville, twenty-seven lightyears from Earth by NAFAL and four hours from Smith Camp by hopper, the second batch of breeding females for the New Tahiti Colony, all sound and clean, 212 head of prime human stock. Or prime enough, anyhow. One down: the report from Dump Island of crop failures, massive erosion, a wipe-out. The line of 212 buxom beddable breasty little figures faded from Davidson’s mind as he saw rain pouring down onto ploughed dirt, churning it to mud, thinning the mud to a red broth that ran down rocks into the rainbeaten sea. The erosion had begun before he left Dump Island to run Smith Camp, and being gifted with an exceptional visual memory, the kind they called eidetic, he could recall it now all too clearly. It looked like that big dome Kees was right and you had to leave a lot of trees standing where you planned to put farms. But he still couldn’t see why a soybean farm needed to waste a lot of space on trees if the land was managed really scientifically. It wasn’t like that in Ohio; if you wanted corn you grew corn, and no space wasted on trees
and stuff. But then Earth was a tamed planet and New Tahiti wasn’t. That’s what he was here for: to tame it. If Dump Island was just rocks and gullies now, then scratch it; start over on a new island and do better. Can’t keep us down, we’re Men. You’ll learn, what that means pretty soon, you godforsaken damn planet, Davidson thought, and he grinned a little in the darkness of the hut, for he liked challenges. Thinking Men, he thought Women, and again the line of little figures began to sway through his mind, smiling, jiggling.
“Ben!” he roared, sitting up and swinging his bare feet onto the bare floor. “Hot water get-ready, hurry-up-quick!” The roar woke him satisfyingly. He stretched and scratched his chest and pulled on his shorts and strode out of the hut into the sunlit clearing all in one easy series of motions. A big, hard-muscled man, he enjoyed using his well-trained body. Ben, his creechie, had the water ready and steaming over the fire as usual, and was squatting staring at nothing, as usual. Creechies never slept, they just sat and stared. “Breakfast. Hurry-up-quick!” Davidson said, picking up his razor from the rough board table where the creechie had laid it out ready with a towel and a propped-up mirror.
There was a lot to be done today, since he’d decided, that last minute before getting up, to fly down to Central and see the new women for himself.