Read Midworld by Alan Dean Foster Online


Born was a child of the rain forest that covered Midworld, part of the primitive society that the peaceful jungle planet had sustained for hundreds of years. He was wise in the ways of his world, and he knew well the precarious natural balance that governed all things.Then one day the aliens came. Giants.  They knew nothing of the Upper or Lower Hell -- and they cared lessBorn was a child of the rain forest that covered Midworld, part of the primitive society that the peaceful jungle planet had sustained for hundreds of years. He was wise in the ways of his world, and he knew well the precarious natural balance that governed all things.Then one day the aliens came. Giants.  They knew nothing of the Upper or Lower Hell -- and they cared less. Born had risked his life to save them, to guide them through the myriad tangled boughs, past unseen, unsuspected dangers lurking in the underbrush. But worse than their ignorance of how to survive, the aliens had plans for Midworld, plans that could utterly destroy the globe-spanning forest that his people called home.As the days passed, Born realized his mistake. And as he had once hunted only to live, he knew now that he would be forced to live only to kill......

Title : Midworld
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345283573
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 393 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Midworld Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-01-23 05:23

    3.5 to 4.0 stars. Another quality science fiction novel by Alan Dean Foster. This story (Book 1 of the Humanx Commonwealth series) takes place on an unnamed world where descendants of a earlier colony ship have evolved into a very symbiotic relationship with the world around them and there existence is disrupted by another ship's arrival to exploit the planet for commercial gain. I thought the story was very well written, fast-paced and I thought the world-building was superb. A quality SF story and one I recommend.SIDE NOTE: If the plot sounds a lot like the movie Avatar, it is because there are some "striking" similarities. First, the world is almost completely jungle with violent plant and animal life. Second, the inhabitants worship the jungle/planet. Third, the arrival of human commercial interest to exploit the planet. There is also at least 4, 5 and 6 but I do not want to give away any spoilers.

  • Paul
    2019-01-25 06:11

    ‘Midworld’ is both an exciting adventure story and an allegory for the ongoing struggle between the natural world and the demands of industry.It’s fast-paced and chock full of action (it’s remarkably violent in places, actually, but not gratuitously so). It would probably have made a fantastic movie if James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ hadn’t been so similar. (Some have suggested that ‘Avatar’ is little more than a rip-off of ‘Midworld’ but, generous soul that I am, I’m going to put it down to convergent evolution rather than plagiarism.)The world-building is also great; something I’ve come to expect from Foster while reading his Humanx Commonwealth series.I recommend this book to anybody who likes a good science fiction/space opera romp or just wants to put on their hippy beads and shout ‘Careful now! Down with this sort of thing!’

  • Kathryn Flatt
    2019-01-31 00:10

    Awesome book! I first read "Alien" before I saw the movie because I wanted to desensitize myself for what I heard was in it. Then I came across "Midworld." Now I love novels that surprise me with a revelation that sneaks up on the reader even though the clues were there. "The Mote In God's Eye" did that, as I related when I reviewed that book.This one delivered a SURPRISE (all caps here). I won't spoil it for anyone who has not read it.More recently, I saw the movie "Avatar" and realized that Mr. Foster was robbed! The parallels between "Avatar" and "Midworld" are many and obvious. Anyone who reads or has read the book will, I think, be in the same camp.

  • CD
    2019-01-30 05:03

    After you read this, tell me that Cameron didn't rip this off for 'Avatar'.Just sayin'

  • Rodzilla
    2019-01-21 04:06

    As a professional biologist, I absolutely love this book and always have. ADF usually spins out okay though entertaining yarns. But this one is something special, with a real appreciation of how an alien ecosystem would work. Perhaps the best biological SF I've ever read. This is a theme that runs through all of his work, but especially apparent here.Oh, and totally obvious that James Cameron ripped this off from ADF for Avatar. I read this in ~1980, and that it is the source material for Avatar leaped out at me while viewing the film. No doubt whatsoever.*****Circling back years later: Objectively, Midworld isn't a 5 star book. Foster isn't great at characters, plot or dialog, but rather in worlds and systems. Yet Midworld stands as an unusually striking world - particularly in the context of its time - with some subtle and not-so-subtle allegory included. Still a great read, and better than most of Foster's oeuvre.

  • Brian
    2019-02-14 02:58

    This is defiantly what Avatar should have been.

  • Dane Cobain
    2019-01-21 02:01

    I picked up this book because I watch Todd the Librarian on YouTube and this is her favourite book. I figured if it’s good enough for Todd then it’s good enough for me and so I picked it up, and it was delightful.What’s interesting about it is that it’s almost like a mixture of fantasy and science fiction, following the story of Born as he defends his village against the creatures of the forest. They live amongst the trees and live in harmony with the planet, but then a couple of strange men show up from a futuristic world. What follows is a classic case of technology not being all that it’s cracked up to be.I thought this was a fantastic read, and Alan Dean Foster has an unusual writing style that’s perfect for people who love strange words and beautiful language. At the same time, at its heart it’s just a good old-fashioned adventure story, but it also has a lot to say about society. It’s arguably even more relevant now than it was when it was published back in 1977. It was a great little book and I’m glad I picked it up. Thanks, Todd!

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-06 01:19

    Through-out the course of this book I was thinking of giving it 2 stars. Till the last 20 pages are so. That so rarely happens in bookreading, that the end somehow pulls it all together? That's what we all hope for when reading a book that drags, we stick with it, and so often we are never rewarded for our readers diligence.Greedy resource seeking humans land on another planet, and get to work in leaching all the natural resources from it. The planet they land on, is comparable to a Rainforest, there are different levels, each with their own variety of predators. Most of the "human" life there has never been to the higher or lower levels, and if they have, so few have come back alive that they avoid them.Except Born, he's a little mad and reckless, and tends to travel farther from the Home tree and deeper into the levels then the others. Along with is trusty furcot, a sentient, six legged, creature that has a symbiotic relationship with a human (all have one), Born finds a destroyed skimmer, along with two living inhabitants.He takes them back to his Home tree, and they learn about the local flora/fauna as it repeatedly tries to kill them. Once at the Home tree they make their plans to return to their own central spaceship. Born and his alpha Male competition Losting go along with him.It's a familiar premise, high tech humans who are helpless in the wild, but still manage to deride their "primitive" native guides, are fragile, needy, and argumentative. The guides are not very communicative, which makes their actions all the more primitive seeming. Along with a manipulative greedy company, that tries the "we'll trade you these cheap beads for your land and livehood" trick on said uncivilized humans.And at this point, the unexpected happens. This movie is reminiscent of Avatar, but instead of banding together animals and natives into an all out war, with wooden spears against automatic riffles and lasers. Born smiles, nods, and.....And it is awesome, and got this book to 3 stars.

  • John R Cobb
    2019-02-15 06:02

    Midworld by Alan Dean Foster is one of my all-time favorite books. Set on, possibly, the most wonderfully described planet in the sci-fi genre. An alien world covered in a lush forest jungle half a kilometer deep. As you descend from the highest level of the canopy, each of the seven levels has its own unique ecological niche of flora and fauna. Three levels deep, a seemingly primitive native people reside. Strangely humanlike, they are endowed with certain physical features suited for their environment.A male native named Born is the main protagonist in the story as he goes about the business of gathering, hunting, and exploring with his symbiotic partner, Ruumahum, a six-legged beast called a furcot. Unlike many in his tribe, Born is curious about the world beyond the safety of his village and he treks farther, deeper, and higher than the others in his community.As a reader, I could see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the world’s endless diversity. At times, a sixth sense permeates the story, and in the end, the reader fully realizes the enormity of Born’s world and how his people came about.I would have been quite satisfied to simply go along with Born’s wanderings, but as always, an antagonist must be introduced whether it’s a rival for the affections of a sought-after female in Born’s tribe or the discovery of others not native to Born’s world, but oddly familiar in appearance and certain mindsets. Given Born’s insatiable curiosity, he guides his newfound friends back to their ship where he discovers their true intentions.Any aficionado of sci-fi, fantasy, and action adventure should appreciate this story. As someone who has a great affection for the woods and waters and the natural world, I can’t help but notice parallels between Born’s world and my own. Unlike humans and earth, Born and his people have nurtured a respectful and sustainable relationship with their world.

  • David
    2019-02-05 07:01

    This was an pleasant & unexpected find! Surely this is the germ of the idea James Cameron developed Avatar from. More than germ, maybe. I'd tell you about it, but if you've seen Avatar there's no need. As always, Foster is a methodical writer. Is using the phrase "workmanlike prose" damning with faint praise? But the way I see it is, if you aren't one of those gifted with gorgeous, lyrical prose but still have good story ideas percolating in your head, then the best thing you can do is get your ego out of the way and just tell the tale. And that's how I've always felt about him.

  • Allison
    2019-02-04 02:13

    Foster creates an excellent "full-immersion" experience with this world. Love his tongue-in-cheek style; a fun read.

  • Sherrill Watson
    2019-02-05 23:10

    I understand this is the book on which the movie "Avatar" is based. The ending is different, it's QUITE simplified in the movie, but this is worth reading, certainly."Born" lives on a very green jungle-like planet that has many levels, and his group of "people" live on only one lavel, in a tree, comfortably exploring a limited area above, below and around them. Born himself is a little more adventuresome than most, which causes the rest of the "tribe" to brand him slightly crazy or mad. A space ship sends a "flitter" which crashes, and he investigates, with his enemy, Losting. They rescue the survivors and begin to return them to their main ship. Enroute we learn much about Born's group and their customs, and an awful lot about the mostly horrible plants and animals on the planet. They communicate with the plants by "emfol"-ing; each of the "people" have a huge chewbaca-like creature /protector (albeit furry green, with fangs, claws, etc.), a "furcot", that becomes his or her friend at birth, sleeps a lot, communicates very little, and eats(?) things that are better left unsaid. As I said, the ending is different from the Disneyesque movie; this couldn't have been made 15 years ago. It's worth reading.

  • Jan
    2019-02-16 02:27

    I haven't enjoyed the last couple of sci-fi books that I have read, but this one was really different. The world that was created was fascinating, as well as deadly, and I enjoyed the science behind the symbiotic relationships of the tribes people, the plants and the other creatures. The conflict towards the end of the book was just a side plot as far as I was concerned. I'm not sure I will read the others in the series, as I am sure that interaction with other planets and peoples will be the main plot in the later books. I might leave my impression of this world as it stands after this one book.

  • Pkelsay
    2019-02-14 00:19

    This is classic SF in many ways, which is not necessarily good. The world-building is the strongest part of this novel, on par with Niven's or McCaffrey's worlds. The characters are static parodies. The plot is basic, devolving into revenge fantasy at the climax. The last line of the book is positively inane. I identified Foster as an author who had written something I liked, and finally remembered Codgerspace and Greenthieves as examples. Written ~20 years after Midworld, I believe I'd recommend Foster's newer works for their humor and characterization.

  • M. Dixon
    2019-01-23 06:08

    I read this way back when I was a teenager. I recalled really enjoying it. So I decided to revisit it after all these years. I still enjoyed the story very much. One thing that I noticed this time around was how much Avatar borrowed from this book.

  • Peter Juzyk
    2019-02-02 23:59

    This book started out as Tarzan in space which was not what I was interested in reading. Then the science fiction element entered the narrative along with a tree-hugger theme that made for a fairly interesting read.

  • Cindy Tomamichel
    2019-02-15 05:08

    This is a book of fantastic imagination,with a strong environmental message that is woven throughout. The characters are ones that will live with you long after the book is finished.

  • D. E.
    2019-01-24 00:07

    An excellent read which turned into a movie but you could see the writer and movie persons were not on the same page. I do not think this ever hit the big screen.

  • Drew Kerlee
    2019-01-28 01:08

    Really enjoyed this world that Foster created. I look forward to more in the series.

  • Ray
    2019-02-04 23:04

    One of my favorites of by this author.

  • B. Tollison
    2019-02-05 23:07

    I'm not gonna lie. I bought this book purely because of the green, three-eyed cow-bear on the cover. My expectations weren't particularly high, and perhaps that explains why I was able to enjoy it so much. The strength of the book, for me, was in the world Foster has built. As other reviewers have commented, there are numerous parallels to the movie Avatar – the home tree, the rainforest setting, and the symbiotic relationship between the inhabitants and the rainforest (among many others). The division of the enormous rainforest into seven separate layers quickly became one of my favourite aspects of the story. Each layer brings its own unique dangers both in regards to the animal and plant life as well as how the characters interact and physically traverse the different levels. Foster does a great job giving the layers their own character largely through the different threats they present to the inhabitants, particularly the very top canopy (Upper Hell) and the very bottom layer (Lower/ True Hell) setting the atmosphere of each layer all the while maintaining a quick pace. In terms of character growth, there isn't much, but given the short length and the nature of the story, it isn't entirely necessary anyway, or at least it doesn't detract from the other, positive aspects of the story. Characterisation isn't extensive but it is present and good enough to carry the story. The protagonist, Born, is innately curious, labelled 'insane' by his tribe due to his desperation to prove himself as the best hunter. These traits aren't exactly original but they're executed well enough and at least give us a very active and likeable protagonist to follow. Born's friend the furcot, Rhuumahum (the three eyed cow-bear on the cover) is also easy to like and their relationship helps to convey Foster's idea of symbiosis and interconnectedness that permeates the alien world.With an active hero and a very hostile and violent world there's definitely no shortage of action. Midworld hops from conflict to conflict though still manages to maintain a good deal of variety thanks to the nature of the different threats within the forest – from ravenous swarms to enormous flying creatures and toxic plant life. And with the arrival of 'the giants' we also get an extra dimension regarding their intent towards the native population and how their values interact and conflict with those of the native inhabitants.The world-building, either through character dialogue or the narrator's voice, rarely lets up, and while it is interesting it does get a little tiring towards the end. Thankfully, Midworld is only a little over 200 pages so it doesn't become much of a problem. The short length serves Foster's style of story telling well. Fast-paced, set in a very engaging world, with a meaningful theme. If the setting and ideas in James Cameron's Avatar appealed to you then there's a good chance you'll find lots to enjoy in Midworld.

  • Geison Pulga
    2019-02-02 05:14

    Este livro é como um cobertor verde fagocitando o leitor.Um planeta-floresta cercado de vegetação tão densa que é dividido em cinco camadas, os humanos vivendo na terceira, fugindo das criaturas aladas do céu e protegidos dos pântanos taciturnos da última camada.Estes "humanos" são seres que evoluíram na primeira expedição ao planeta, vivendo em uma harmonia tão extrema com a natureza que acabam formando uma forma de simbiose com o verde.Outro ponto interessante são os "furcots", e a forma que o autor demonstra como a convivência de animais com humanos não deveria ser Dono-Pet, mas tão somente criaturas de espécies diferentes dividindo uma mesma casa.Não esperava muito deste livro antigo de sci-fi, me surpreendeu 200%, incrível ser tão pouco comentado dentre os apreciadores do gênero.Muitos o comparam com o filme "Avatar", existem algumas similaridades, mas nada que indique qualquer forma de plágio.Recomendado para amantes dos animais e da natureza, com pitadas de jetpacks.

  • Betty Jo Pritchett
    2019-02-17 03:03

    I really enjoyed this book. The story follows a native named Born. Born and his people live on a world that is overrun with vegetation and crazy predators and animals. Always feeling like an outsider, Born struggles to find acceptance, respect, and even admiration among his people. After seeing a 'blue demon' crashing from the sky, Born explores the object and saves two humans from a flying carnivore. The plot line continues as Born brings the humans back to his 'Home Tree' and then journeys to take them to their station. This book has some clear similarities with the movie 'Avatar' including a 'Home Tree', native humanoids with symbiotic relationships with the surrounding vegetation, and a human corporation bent on destroying the planet at all costs for money. I enjoyed the writer's style. The language was great and he gave just enough details so that I could understand the plot and envision the planet and its inhabitants but not too much to bore me. The plot line was fairly predictable but the implementation was always surprising. I would recommend it to any sci-fi fans.

  • Alexa
    2019-02-07 04:26

    A very good book. It follows the story of Born, a native of a planet overrun with vegetation, in which the plants can be just as dangerous (if not more dangerous) as the animals that live there. Born and his people know how to keep balance in the world, and give and take only as needed. However, one day Born and the other natives see a "blue demon" crash not far from their home. Born is the only native brave enough to find out what it is. It turns out to be some kind of exploration shuttle. Born saves the 2 "giants" that have crash landed and he risks his own life to get them back to their outpost. But when he finds out what these "giants" are here for, and how they treat his planet, he begins to think it was a mistake to save them...It's a great plot, and the environments and creatures are vivid and easy to picture in your imagination. Some people regard this book as an inspiration to James Cameron's Avatar, and I can definitely see why - there are quite a few similarities.Overall it's a great read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Richard
    2019-01-27 05:23

    This book, originally published in 1975, appears to have been scanned from hardcopy, then converted to text. As a result, there are scanning errors that were not corrected in the editing process. Because of the errors, some of the usage of words becomes confusing, but not objectionably so. The book was re-released as an e-book in 2012.The story is about a lost colony of humans on a strange world dominated by plants. Hundreds of years later, a new human expedition arrives seeking a drug that is extracted from the trees, and that extends the human lifespan by more than double. The resulting conflict of cultures forms the basis of the conflict around which the story revolves. It is an easy read. A few inconsistencies are to be found, but, overall, it is a good book.

  • Ilona
    2019-02-04 05:07

    I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of a group of beings on a far distant planet that are the result of a lost colony. They have evolved to fit the planet and all seems well until it is visited by humans with greedy ambitions. The story does a great job of telling how the problems with interacting with alien species is all about needing to understand the other person's viewwpoint. I have always enjoyed the authors Humanx stories and this one has an unusual ending that makes it stand out from others I've read. I highly recommend it to those who like A D Foster's Commonwealth books.

  • Marco
    2019-01-20 02:08

    I enjoyed the story, that is fast paced and entertaining. I enjoyed the fantasy world that the author created, the original symbiotic relationship of the various species, and the everything but subtle social commentary of the role of humans in the destruction of our planet. This is definitely not a character driven story, because its characters are as dull and flat as they can get. Despite this, it is quite an enjoyable book.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-02-15 02:26

    I'm no great fan of Alan Dean Foster, but I rather liked this novel because of its themes--ecological concern and rapacious capitalism invading a stable native culture--and because in this science fiction story, unlike innumerable cases in our own history, nature and the good folks win.If you liked the Avatar movie or Ursula LeGuin's The Word for World is Forest novella, you may well like Midworld.

  • greg
    2019-01-27 02:26

    I enjoyed the story, another well rendered world by Mr. Foster. He revists this world in his Pip and Flinx series, I haven't read that story yet but I have read several in the series. I look forward to reading Mid-Flinx now to see how Midworld has chanded since he first wrote about it, in the commonwealth universe and his writing style as there is quite some time between writing times of the two books.

  • William
    2019-01-26 23:58

    I really enjoyed this book and feel it is grossly underrated as a science fiction novel. It chronicles the story of a group of dwellers on a far distant planet that are the result of a lost or forgotten colony. This planet is again visited by humans and they encounter these people again. The tale is well told and relates the problems with interacting with alien species. It does not bode well for the invaders!