Top critical review
Human occupation of a humanoid species
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
Ursula K Le Guin's The Word for World is Forest, is a mostly unremarkable variation of the notion of an advanced civilization occupying another world for the purposes of resource extraction, while at the same time, denigrating the local, intelligent, but less advanced indigenous population. The locals finally organize and throw off their oppressors after some amount of violence. Along the way there is the empathetic anthropologist trying to understand this intelligent species as well as the fanatical adherent of the human supremacy league who wants to exterminate them. There is much focus on the inability to understand intra-group customs.
While this theme is well exercised, LeGuin places the interactions between Piper's Little Fuzzy and Avatar. While not explicitly stated, Earth's environmental degradation has made lumber of luxury item worthy of interstellar trade and commerce which seems a bit far-fetched. The humans tend to be rather stereotypical and the indigenous people are portrayed as noble savages with an odd sleep/wake pattern that leads to dreaming outside of sleep. Interestingly, they also have a sexual division of labor that is odd.