Ursula K. LeGuin. Rocannon’s World
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
= Rocannon’s World =
How can you tell the legend from the fact on these worlds that lie so many years away? – planets without names, called by their people simply The World, planets without history, where the past is the matter of myth, and a returning explorer finds his own doings of a few years back have become the gestures of a god. Unreason darkens that gap of time bridged by our lightspeed ships, and in the darkness uncertainty and disproportion grow like weeds.
In trying to tell the story of a man, an ordinary League scientist, who went to such a nameless half-known world not many years ago, one feels like an archeologist amid millennial ruins, now struggling through choked tangles of leaf, flower, branch and vine to the sudden bright geometry of a wheel or a polished cornerstone, and now entering some commonplace, sunlit doorway to find inside it the darkness, the impossible flicker of a flame, the glitter of a jewel, the half-glimpsed movement of a woman’s arm.
How can you tell fact from legend, truth from truth?
Through Rocannon’s story the jewel, the blue glitter seen briefly, returns. With it let us begin, here:
Galactic Area 8, No. 62: FOMALHAUT II.
High-Intelligence Life Forms: Species Contacted:
A) Gdemiar (singular Gdem): Highly intelligent, fully hominoid nocturnal troglodytes,
120-135 cm. in height, light skin, dark head-hair. When contacted these cave-dwellers possessed a rigidly stratified oligarchic urban society modified by partial colonial telephathy, and a technologically oriented Early Steel culture. Technology enhanced to Industrial, Point C, during League Mission of 252-254. In 254 an Automatic Drive ship (to-from New South Georgia) was presented to oligarchs of the Kiriensea Area community. Status C-Prime.
B) Fiia (singular Fian): Highly intelligent, fully hominoid, diurnal, av. ca. 130 cm. in height, observed individuals generally light in skin and hair. Brief contacts indicated village and nomadic communal societies, partial colonial telepathy, also some indication of short-range TK. The race appears a-technological and evasive, with minimal and fluid culture-patterns. Currently untaxable. Status E-Query.
Liuar (singular Liu): Highly intelligent, fully hominoid, diurnal, av. height above 170 cm., this species possesses a fortress/village, clan-descent society, a blocked technology (Bronze), and feudal-heroic culture. Note horizontal social cleavage into 2 pseudo-races: (a: Olgyior, “midmen,” light-skinned and dark-haired; (b: Angyar, “lords,” very tall, dark-skinned, yellow-haired –
“That’s her,” said Rocannon, looking up from the Abridged Handy Pocket Guide to Intelligent Life-forms at the very tall, dark-skinned, yellow-haired woman who stood halfway down the long museum hall. She stood still and erect, crowned with bright hair, gazing at something in a display case. Around her fidgeted four uneasy and unattractive dwarves.