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The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume One: Where on Earth Hardcover – November 27, 2012
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This two-volume collection contains 41 of the author’s personal favorites among her short stories, plus introductions giving some idea of the criteria for selection. The first volume, Where on Earth, employs largely terrestrial settings (although seen through the author’s rather original vision); the second, Outer Space, Inner Lands, reaches farther afield in both fantasy and sf. Only “Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight” and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” are among the author’s well-known classics. On the other hand, read “Hand, Cup, Shell” or “The Matter of Segri.” Then consider that there may really be no such thing as minor Le Guin, particularly if one is disposed to savor a command of the English language that remains nearly unequaled in the ranks of English-language sf and fantasy. Equally good as an introduction to the author’s short fiction or to fill in gaps that may remain in larger collections. --Roland Green
"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
These stories serve as an excellent introduction for newcomers to her work. Many blur the line between "serious" literature and science-fiction. While the settings are fictional, the stories deal with very human issues.
I've admired her work for a long time, and believe others will be feeling the same way when they read this. Every story is beautifully written, unique and worth reading.