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  1. Not the Mid World books or the LeGuin forest book
  2. Human colonists on a forest planet, want to be independent from Earth
  3. Author’s first name might have been Christopher

Edited to add more information thanks to a helpful memory jog:

  1. Planet was definitely outside this solar system- in fact, the story referenced that the human colonists had left the solar system after previously colonizing the outer planets.
  2. I don’t remember any character names. Only character attribute I remember is the main anatagonist, a very technocratic Earth admiral trying to assert control by force.
  3. No sex that I recall - I would have been 12-13 when I read.
  4. Tone was much more sci fi than fantasy; detailed descriptions of the Earth ships and the colonists’ defenses. There were several battles.
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    It is a little amusing to read: "Planet was definitely outside this solar system- in fact, the human colonists had deliberately left the solar system. ". The distances to even the nearest stars are about 10,000 times the distances to other planets in our solar system, so accidentally leaving the solar system to colonize an exoplanet would be highly unusual. – M. A. Golding Feb 9 at 17:59
  • One other possibility is Downbelow Station by CJ Cherryh - it's in the right time frame, there is a technocratic admiral trying to take over and a forest planet -- but the humans mostly live on a space station and mostly leave the planet to the natives. – Spencer Feb 9 at 18:00
  • Thanks for the responses. Doesn’t appear to be Downbelow Station but will check that out in its own right – Ian Craig Feb 9 at 22:03
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Is it The Word for World Is Forest (1972), a science fiction novella by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin?

The Word for World Is Forest is the Humans As Invader flavor of alien invasion stories. Earthlings land on an Eden-like forest planet and immediately begin chopping down what they can and enslaving everything else. Source

The narrative can be a little heavy-handed, but it’s more about the forced loss of innocence than simply beating the drum for conservation.

  • Thank you for the response. No, it was definitely published in the 1983-1986 timeframe, with a male author, and the human colonists were trying to live in harmony with the planet, but the Earth based power structure was trying to control them. – Ian Craig Feb 9 at 13:25
  • Was the planet in the solar system? Who was the main character? His abilities? What was the tone of the book? Was there description of sex? How much death and violence was in the book? What about scientific jargon? – Neo Darwin Feb 9 at 13:44
  • Thank you for prompting me / jogging my memory. Planet was definitely outside this solar system- in fact, the human colonists had deliberately left the solar system. I don’t remember any character names. Only character attribute I remember is the main anatagonist, a very technocratic Earth admiral trying to assert control by force. No sex that I recall - I would have been 12-13 when I read. Tone was much more sci fi than fantasy; detailed descriptions of the Earth ships and the colonists’ defenses. There were several battles. – Ian Craig Feb 9 at 14:14

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