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Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands: 2 Hardcover – 3 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618730355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618730350
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 452,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Real and the Unreal: Selected Stories Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands A long-awaited celebration of Ursala K. Le Guin's incredible short stories. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inspired collection of stories to open the eyes of your mind philosophically, etc Ursula LeGuin invites the reader into her worlds & off into social systems that say "Well, what if...? What would life be like if...?" etc. Brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An indispensable two-volume collection for fans of speculative fiction 6 Dec 2012
By Jack Tripper - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Most every serious fan of science-fiction and fantasy is aware of the impact Le Guin's fiction has had on the genres, but many have not delved further than her classic novels like 'The Disposessed' or the 'Earthsea' cycle. I would argue that some of her very best, most powerful and imaginative work was in the short form, and these two volumes (sold separately) provide the perfect evidence. The 38 stories found within would serve as an excellent introduction for newcomers to her work, and as a definitive collection of Le Guin's best short fiction for the more serious fan.

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. "Mazes," about an alien "lab rat" forced to perform tests for a researcher who will never understand it, no matter how hard the alien tries, is a powerful meditation on language barriers and communication breakdown. Also included are the classics "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," an abstract, philosophical tale of a utopian city, and "Nine Lives," a highly effective and moving story dealing with cloning and human bonding. Both of these stories have been reprinted dozens of times in various anthologies, and with good reason, as they're both essential reading for fans of speculative fiction.

These two volumes do an amazing job of collecting the very best short fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, and cover a wide spectrum of moods, genre, and style, which makes for a nearly overwhelming, kaleidoscopic read, and one that deserves to be read not only by fans of science-fiction and fantasy, but by fans of just-plain-great writing and storytelling. While I've been an admirer of her work for a long time, that admiration has reached a whole new level after having read these two superb collections. And I have a pretty strong feeling many others will be feeling the exact same way in the not-too-distant future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great selection of stories. A must have for all Ursula Le Guin fans. 11 Feb 2013
By S. Hsu - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So glad Ursula selected the stories herself (she described her selection processes in the intro) and included only her own favorites. I have read some of the stories before, including the very famous: "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" as well as the not so famous stories like "The Shobies' Story." It has my all time favorite story, "Solitude," in it; but that honored place may be displaced by a new story (to me) I just read, "the Poacher." I am delighted that she has picked some not so well known stories so we'll have a chance to see these hidden treasures. True to all her stories, these stories here will make you think, will shock you out of your complacency, will teleport you temporarily to worlds that are so strange and yet so familiar.

I bought the Kindle version of this two volume set, because I ran out of space on my book shelves; but now I wish I have hard copies because I know I'll be going back to read and re-read many of the stories.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great science fiction stories 9 Jan 2013
By mitchelstein - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had never read anything by Le Guin and I have thoroughly enjoyed the stories in this book. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys well written, surprising short stories, and particularly to people who think might be interested in science fiction but have not tried it yet.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Definitive Set of Le Guin Stories 10 Dec 2012
By GreensRGood - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This new set of selected stories by the author is a gift to those of us who have been following her work for over 40 years and have longed to have a definitive set of the short stories. This would be a great set of volumes to use in teaching literary form and techniques.
Not my favorite... 9 Oct 2014
By Jaime Andrews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really love the work of Ursala Le Guin, but this collection of stories was incredibly hard to crack into. I really enjoyed the brevity, simplicity, and message of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" but the rigorous scientific manner of Semley's Necklace and Nine Lives just lost me. I have put the book down for the time being... may just open it up to a random store to try it again sometime later.
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