Deathworld (Deathworld #1) (1960)

by Harry Harrison

A professional gambler finds himself on the most lethal planet in the known galaxy, where he tries to help a dying colony cope with the dangerous indigenous lifeforms and achieve rapprochement with a human faction that has managed to live peacefully with its surroundings. 

Harry Harrison’s novel is a prime example of pulp SF.


Harry Harrison

It has plenty of action, humor, and scary alien monsters, but also a compelling mystery and a realistic view of human nature.


Happily, it resists the Golden Age trope of resolving the story’s conflict by simply having the smartest guy in the room lay out the solution and having everyone else bow to his wisdom. 

(There is a little of that, but it's a much more nuanced version than many I have read.)


Hollywood is always looking for a good story and I think a killer movie could be developed from this.


  1. I think Deathworld is now in the public domain. I should make a version and add it to my library.

  2. I think you're right. BJ Harrison produced an audio version for The Classic Tales podcast some time back, and he only reads stories in the public domain.

  3. Why would you think that "Deathworld" is in the public domain? Harry Harrison lived until 2012. He was a highly professional writer, whom I knew slightly, and US copyright law protects an author's work until decades after his death.

  4. It surprises me, but it appears to be true. There's a Librivox version available, too, and that material is always public domain.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1) (1912)

The Tomb (Repairman Jack #1; Adversary Cycle #2) (1984)