top of page



The Deathworld Trilogy is old-school sci-fi writing, with plenty of action, derring-do, hard science and hardscrabble living on alien worlds. However, it also features an engaging anti-hero, the gambling, conniving, fast-talking, war-starting, gun-toting Jason dinAlt, a man whose morals shift with every new planet he encounters. 

Jason is a realist and pragmatist, a man blessed with infinite reserves of strength, stamina, cunning, intelligence and sheer luck. He manages to pull success from almost every situation he finds himself in, even those that would prove life-ending to another being. 

In each story, he’s surrounded by an able-bodied bunch of characters: from the stalwart, tough, skilled, beautiful and lethal Meta to the shrewd, unlettered barbarian Temuchin whose gift at warfare would make Sun Tzu burn with envy. The stories are absorbing, exciting, energetic and lively with robust dialogue, action and settings. Mr. Harrison’s world-building skills are also those of a seasoned author, one who knows how to make other landscapes credible in terms of atmosphere, geography, ecology and climate. I simply couldn’t find any flaw in these books and was really sorry to have them come to an end. 

This is one of the rare SF books that not only entertains but teaches as well, in a manner of very diverse subjects. What it doesn’t teach, it makes so interesting that the reader is tempted to go out and learn about these subjects in depth. It also does what R. L. Stevenson novels used to do: they make readers believe that they, too, could survive in a hostile environment armed with nothing more than a flashlight and a Bowie knife…or wish they could.

bottom of page