10

I read a book a while ago ( read many years, maybe a decade ago, it was at least 20 years old then) about a watery planet ruled over by a monstrous overlord sea monster thing.

The hero rallies some of the floating villages to fight the monster and they make iron weaponry out of iron from blood as far as I can remember.

Beyond this I can't remember much about the book, but I'm sure at least one other person out there must have read it.

Edit for more potential details: I think the village folk were reluctant to trust the hero, he was maybe a stranger to them and a lot of them didn't want to upset the status quo.

The iron weapons were maybe to pierce the hide? A harpoon seems familiar, something to trap him with the aid of nets.

  • Can you give us an estimate on how many years "many" is? Three? Seven? Decades? :) The Bas Lag Cycle has some similarities in that there are floating islands, sea creatures, and a race who blood coagulates so rapidly that they make weapons and armor from it. – FuzzyBoots Nov 4 '16 at 12:17
  • I read it maybe a decade ago, and would estimate it at being maybe 30 years total. It definitely read as a dated book, more Heinlein era than China Mieville. – alzinos Nov 4 '16 at 13:02
17

Jack Vance's The Blue World has all the elements that you talk about.

Book cover

According to sciencefictionruminations :

In the distant past a spaceship crashed on the Blue World which consists of one gigantic ocean. The survivors discovered floating “pads” which are connected to stems which grow in clusters. [...] The primary purpose is to alert the other pads to the arrival of King Kragen and his lesser minions! King Kragen is a gigantic vindictive sea monster. The pads’ inhabitants have developed a policy of appeasing King Kragen who still occasionally wrecks havoc destroying buildings, eating sponges, and breaking nets.

Sklar Hast, our rebellious hero, is an apprentice hoodwink (communication tower operator). Sklar believes that the policy of appeasement should be replaced with a policy to exterminate King Kragen so the pads can finally live without fear. He invokes the ire of the more traditionalist members of the the society. After an audacious attempt at killing King Kragen, Sklar Hast is forced to leave the pads with his followers.

  • Been searching for this for many years, asked multiple forums. It was hard to find results anywhere that weren't Waterworks. I am suitably impressed and very grateful. – alzinos Nov 4 '16 at 13:38
  • I bought this book in french at a garage sell just over a year ago, so the story is still fresh in my mind. I'm happy to be of some assistance ;-) – Nygael Nov 4 '16 at 13:44
  • I didn't even know this existed - I'd read the short story "The Kragen" in a sci-fi anthology collection a few years back, and always meant to look to see if there was any follow stories, as I really liked the concept! – SeanR Nov 4 '16 at 15:23
  • 1
    That's one of my favorite Vance novels. I think what I really liked was the optimistic way he handled the idea that human ingenuity could find ways to overcome such handicaps as "even with records of how our terrestrial ancestors generated electricity and did other technological tricks, we still can't start mining for iron and other useful metals because there isn't any dry land on the entire planet! But we'll work around that problem, somehow!" :-) – Lorendiac Nov 4 '16 at 22:44
6

As per my comment, I'm going to put out the possibility of this being China Miéville's The Scar, second book of the Bas Lag Cycle.

Book cover

Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. But the journey is not theirs alone. They are joined by a handful of travelers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. Among them is Bellis Coldwine, a renowned linguist whose services as an interpreter grant her passage—and escape from horrific punishment. For she is linked to Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin, the brilliant renegade scientist who has unwittingly unleashed a nightmare upon New Crobuzon.

For Bellis, the plan is clear: live among the new frontiersmen of the colony until it is safe to return home. But when the ship is besieged by pirates on the Swollen Ocean, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave.

Lonely and embittered in her captivity, Bellis knows that to show dissent is a death sentence. Instead, she must furtively seek information about Armada’s agenda. The answer lies in the dark, amorphous shapes that float undetected miles below the waters—terrifying entities with a singular, chilling mission...

That last bit refers the the Avanc, a massive sea creature. The book also features the Scabmettlers, a race whose blood congeals very rapidly, with which they create their own weaponry and armor.

It's a more recent book (2002), but that's still fourteen years ago. It's not a watery planet, just one section that's got a lot of water (although, frankly, so does Earth). The sea creature gets raised later in the book. Honestly, it's not the best match, but it's close enough that I figured I'd posit it.

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