The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin, Vol. 2: Outer Space, Inner Lands

Ursula K. Le Guin. Small Beer, $24 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61873-035-0
Second of a two-volume set, this bare-bones collection focuses on SFWA Grand Master Le Guin’s overtly fantastic visions. Settings of 20 stories, all previously anthologized, include both the science fictional Ekumen, a community of worlds populated by humans shaped by the hubristic Hain of the distant past, to such fantastical realms as the West Reach, “where dragons breed on the lava isles.” Le Guin’s imagination ranges widely; the most interesting sequence involves the world Seggri, whose gender politics are charmingly different from ours but equally constrained. This short collection, offering samples from across Le Guin’s career to date, shows why she has been a major voice in science fiction and fantasy since the 1960s, but it suffers from lack of a scholarly introduction and other materials that might draw the interest of fans who have encountered these stories elsewhere. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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