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The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth by…

The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Title:The Unreal and the Real: Where on Earth
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Info:Small Beer Press (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sci fi

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The Unreal and the Real, Selected Stories 2: Outer Space, Inner Lands by Ursula K. Le Guin (2012)


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I wasn't able to finish this book, but I am done reading it. I got through the first half of the book and one of the stories in the back. I thought this might be a short story that I had read years ago. Unfortunately it wasn't and I no longer felt the need to barrel through the book and carry on when I wasn't really enjoying it.

Its strange though, I think that I read several of Le Guin's sort stories in college and really enjoyed them. I have no idea what would make them a real slog in the intervening 15 years. Oh well, I can't love all the books all the time I suppose. Maybe I'll try again in another 15 years! ( )
  sscarllet | Dec 15, 2015 |
Ursula Le Guin has been a significant force in my reading life since I borrowed A Wizard of Earthsea from North Watford library, around age 8 or 9. This career-spanning selection of short stories was an interesting and moving experience to revisit old favourites (‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’), to discover some new-to-me tales (especially ‘The Poacher’, a variation on Sleeping Beauty), and to be reminded of the early roots of both the Hainish universe and Earthsea. Ursula Le Guin is one of my all time favourite writers, because the worlds she creates have grown and changed over time, challenging me to reflect, grow and change too. And because she tells brilliant stories, whether a few or a 100 pages long, at novel length, or across the now six books following Ged, Tenar and others on their life’s journeys across the islands of Earthsea. ( )
  Bernadette877 | Apr 28, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ursula Le Guin's short stories are always provocative and beautiful in their language. While I had read most of these stories in other formats before, this is a marvelous collection to cherish of many of her most important works. ( )
  ronincats | May 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'd read quite a few novels, but few short stories, by Ursula Le Guin before starting this collection. While I liked the stories quite a bit, I think she's better at novel length because I kept wanting to know what happened next, or find out more detail about the worlds she created. ( )
  kbuxton | Oct 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Ursula Le Guin for me is a writer who is always interesting and challenging but not always entertaining. In this collection of stories she manages to keep me interested and entertained while making me think. And this is a good thing. I found myself taking my time to fully digest the stories, some which I had read when they first came out. Her stories are rich in so many ways. She is a true wordsmith in that she can make the reader reconsider how words and phrases are used within our culture. In some stories I felt that she was talking to me about how I live my life and how different life could be. This "conversation" is not a mental aberration on my part but the art of writing at the highest level. ( )
1 vote jotoyo | Sep 13, 2013 |
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There are dozens of definitions of what "science fiction" is; few are useful and none is definitive. Variations on the term, such as "speculative fiction," complicate the discussion more than they clarify it. [from "Introduction: The Obligatory Bit about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Genre"]
With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city of Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in the harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tamboourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows' crossing flights over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. [from "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"]
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Presents a selection of many of the author's best known non realistic stories, including "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," "Semley's Necklace," and "She Unnames Them."

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