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The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth Hardcover – November 27, 2012
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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"A century from now people will still be reading the fantasy stories of Ursula K Le Guin with joy and wonder. Five centuries from now they might ask if their author ever really existed, or if Le Guin was an identity made from the work of many writers rolled into one. A millennium on and her stories will be so familiar, like myths and fairytales today, that only dedicated scholars will ask who wrote them. Such is the fate of the truly great writers, whose stories far outlive their names."
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Top Customer Reviews
The first volume, subtitled 'Where on Earth,' collects her more literary and experimental fiction, as opposed to the more science-fiction-based second volume. Many of the stories here blur the line between "serious" literature and science-fiction, as evidenced by the first four stories, all set within the fictional country of Orsina. But while the setting may be fictional, these four stories deal with very real, human issues, such as freedom and what it is to be human. Some of the stories are very moving, like "Buffalo Gals," in which a small child, lost in the desert, finds a new mother-figure in Coyote, the trickster god. Others are rather strange and surreal, such as "Either, OR," about a small town that's constantly on the move. Every story here is unique and well worth reading, not to mention beautifully written, and I imagine even sf-only readers will find much to love.
'Outer Space, Inner Lands' collects Le Guin's more sf-based works, though only a few would be considered "straight" or "traditional" science-fiction. Le Guin, more often than not, used science-fiction as a launching pad to explore philosophical themes that would otherwise be much more difficult to accomplish effectively.Read more ›
- Introduction (2012) by Ursula K. Le Guin is a short summary of her career and notes about the stories.
- "Brothers ans Sisters" (Little Magazine, 1976) is a Orsinian Tale about sibling rivalry and romance.
- "A Week in the Country" (Little Magazine, 1976) is a Orsinian Tale about routine terror behind the Iron Curtain.
- "Unlocking the Air" (Playboy, 1990) is a Orsinian Tale about science and politics behind the Iron Curtain.
- "Imaginary Countries" (Harvard Advocate, 1973) is a Orsinian Tale about people on their summer vacation.
- "The Diary of the Rose" (Future Power, 1976) tells of the subversion of a psychotherapist with a socialist society.
- "Directions of the Road" (Orbit, 1974) relates the concerns of a tree.
- "The White Donkey" (TriQuarterly, 1980) implies a magical creature in the woods.
- "Gwilan's Harp" (Redbook, 1977) relates the life of a harpist after the destruction of her unique harp.
- "May's Lion" (Fellowship of the Stars, 1983) concerns an old woman and a sick feline.
- "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight" (F&SF, 1987) involves the survivor of a plane crash with the first people.
- "Horse Camp" (New Yorker, 1986) is a play on words.
- "The Water is Wide" (chapbook, 1976) invokes suicides as a personal choice.
- "The Lost Children" (Thirteenth Moon, 1996) presents a modern pied piper.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These stories read like developmental exercises for a longer work instead of standalone short stories. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Drew
Great shorts, wonderful to read again. One can see why she is one of the greatest science fiction writers ever.Published on January 28, 2013 by rolery
Ursula Le Guin's selection of her own stories yields pleasures of rediscovery, and newly discovered works that were more obscure. Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by GreensRGood