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Changing Planes: Armchair Travel for the Mind (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Kindle Edition]

Ursula K. Le Guin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description


It was Sita Dulip who discovered, whilst stuck in an airport, unable to get anywhere, how to change planes - literally. With a kind of a twist and a slipping bend, easier to do than describe, she could go anywhere - be anywhere - because she was already between planes ... and on the way back from her sister's wedding, she missed her plane in Chicago and found herself in Choom.

The author, armed with this knowledge and Rornan's invaluable Handy Planetary Guide - although not the Encyclopedia Planeria, as that runs to forty-four volumes - has spent many happy years exploring places as diverse as Islac and the Veksian plane.

CHANGING PLANES is an intriguing, enticing mixture of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and THE HITCH-HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY; a cross between Douglas Adams and Alain de Botton: a mix of satire, cynicism and humour by one of the world's best writers.

Product Description

Book Description

A satirical, at times hilarious spoof on air travel by one of the world's most elegant writers.

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the finest writers of our time. Her books have attracted millions of devoted readers and won many awards, including the National Book Award, the Hugo and Nebula Awards and a Newbery Honor. Among her novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed and the six books of Earthsea have attained undisputed classic status; and her recent series, the Annals of the Western Shore, has won her the PEN Center USA Children's literature award and the Nebula Award for best novel. In 2014 Ursula Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Read more at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 503 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway; New Ed edition (9 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043M679Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ursula Le Guin has won many awards, including a National Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Newbery Honor and the World Fantasy Award For Life Achievement.

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant wisdom in LeGuin's latest 14 July 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
LeGuin's best book for years- and that's saying something! Very Borges-like in feel, but still characteristically Le Guin. Her usual crystalline text (I wish I could write like this!) leads one gently to worlds of of distorted reality, wisdom and ambiguity. Satire, comedy, science fiction, fantasy, social commentary and philiosophy mix in these elegant shards of transfigured reality. Now all I have to do is find how to get there from Heathrow...
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By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Ursula Le Guin’s collection of 16 anthropologically-styled short stories hinge around the premise that people who find themselves stuck in airports are able to slip between dimensional planes. The first story SITA DULIP’S METHOD sets out the premise, with each of the following 15 stories taking place on a different plane and setting out aspects of its culture as experienced by other travellers or academics. It’s a fascinating collection with Le Guin using each of the worlds to make a point about this one and I enjoyed the combination of barbed acidity and satire that she deploys with an effortless sweep of her pen. This is the first Le Guin I’ve read in many years and it’s reminded me of how much I admired and loved her work and certainly encouraged me to check out more of her work.

Of the 15 stories, my favourite is THE ROYALS OF HEGN, which is biting satire on the nature of class and the part that each of the ruling class and working class play in sustaining and reinforcing the other. However, GREAT JOY runs it a very close second – another satire, it imagines what happens when one of the planes is effectively privatised by a wealthy US elite who form a corporation that turns the plane’s population into virtual slaves forced to work in artificially created lands dedicated to American holidays, e.g. one where it’s Christmas all year long. I also enjoyed THE FLIERS OF GY, which is a moving tale of a world filled with bird-like people but where only a small minority are cursed with the ability to fly and the thought-provoking THE ISLAND OF IMMORTALS, which is set in a plane where the people of one small island are blessed with immortality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Are you a frequent flyer? 23 Feb. 2012
By Lanic
I'm buying and reading ALL books by Ursula Le Guin. This one is a collection of wonderful short stories, I tried to find it for years and I'm so happy to have found it! It's specially perfect to read in airports, while waiting for your delayed flight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very happy 29 Dec. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a Le Guin enthusiast so love all her books. The wonderful line-drawings in this one make it extra special.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Way to beat Airport Blues 28 April 2005
Amongst the most unpleasant places on the planet must be airport departure lounges (especially American ones according to my parents...).
In this collection, Ursula Le Guin has produced a number of stories about places that could be reached from the departure lounges of the world's airports. Ms Le Guin has employed her undoubted skills in creating new worlds in order to form the backgrounds to these worlds. Unfortunately, many of the more pleasant worlds are crypto Anarchical in nature, while the ones that are unpleasant are often either capitalist or formerly capitalist. This has been a long term twitch of Ms Le Guin's for virtually the last forty years. Also, a number of stories seem to be rather too obvious pastiches on current societies and/or events.
Of course, the title is a rather obvious play on waiting for another plane and swapping between the alternative planetary planes.
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