It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
The Word for World is Forest
Short and bitter-sweet. Le Guin's tale of abuse of technologically iron-age forest dwellers by space-faring Earthlings captures the horrors and of colonial rule and their causes. The technological disparity is easily understood as necessary and widely recognised but another essential factor is isolation. In Le Guin's case there's a 54 year communications turn-around, making the colony commander an effective despot. As soon as technology reduces this turn-around time to nil, the colonial system colapses because there is effective oversight. Looking instead to actual history, the Viceroy of India could do as he pleased, because the Empress Victoria was months away by the fasted communication method and therefore orders and policy were always behind reality. Add in assumed cultural superiority and the recipe for extreme abuse is complete.
Now, why do I say the book is bitter-sweet? After all the conclusion is that the colony is completely withdrawn and the natives are left to themselves. All is as it was before the arrival of men from Earth, or will be when the trees grow back. But not really - the cultural contact has changed the native people forever - they know what murder and war are now. Cultures can't come into contact without being changed - and in the case of colonial rule, one might be severely damaged or utterly destroyed.