The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin, Vol. 1: Where on Earth

Ursula K. Le Guin, Foreword by
Ursula K. Le Guin. Small Beer, $24 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61873-036-7
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-61873-037-4
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-61873-035-0
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-61873-034-3
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The first of a two-volume collection focuses on stories that are occasionally tinged with magic but remain primarily realistic. Drawing from works already printed in well-known collections, Le Guin looks at lives in such settings as desolate blue-collar towns and the crumbling Soviet empire, often constrained and oppressed, offered promises of liberation betrayed by politics and weakness but not without occasional moments of hope. “Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight” provides a moment of the fantastic, though it leads only to a bitter denouement. This volume shows that SFWA Grand Master Le Guin can make as great a mark outside genre fiction as she did within it, but her fans will find no exciting rarities or additional critical or biographical material that might make the collection stand out from its predecessors. (Dec.)
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