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The books I am looking for is probably from the 1980s. I read it in about 1989. It is not LeGuin's Word for the World is Forest, which was published in 1972. This one is much longer.

In this book, humans have occupied a forest planet and are harvesting underground insect chitin, from which a longevity medicine is created. There are aliens who live in sentient forests. And Space Marines in mech suits. There are people who fight alongside the native aliens. I recall people fighting in an arena with huge worms as weapons and a character flying in a glider for several days on end.

On the cover of this book is a picture of a bear like creature in futuristic garb.

That's all I remember. Does anyone know the title?

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The War for Eternity by Christopher Rowley Description from christopherrowley.net:

Five hundred years after the days of the Founder. The pattern set by the EASU continues. Twenty million humans live on Fenrille. Syndicates rule the "Sx Coast" and the other coastal enclaves. The Highland Clans rule the mountains where they produce the chitin drugs that are now traded all the way back to the home system.

Lavin Fundin, a relatively junior product of the Fundan laboratories, has become a top notch combat officer. Paired with Bg Rva, fein leader of Brelkilk village and the Abzen Fein he has bested Young Proud Fundan and held Abzen valley.

Fair Fundan, now almost five hundred years old, rules the family in her own mysterious way.

From Earth comes a new threat, the starship GAGARIN, with advanced weaponry and genetically enhanced combat troops. Admiral Enkov, in command, is inclined to take stern measures with the recalcitrant Highlanders over diplomacy. The situation sours swiftly into all out war and once again the threat of atomic weapons is raised.

The Fundan forces are driven into the great forest and the GAGARIN begins to use nuclear weapons against them, at which point the Arizel tki Fenrille, the ultimate rulers of the mysterious planet return to pass judgement on the human race.

front cover

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