"On the planet O there has not been a war for five thousand years," she read, "and on Gethen there has never been a war."I found this book in a box I was unpacking in my new apartment. One of the joys of moving is finding books (and occasionally other things) that I don't remember ever seeing before. I don't think I bought this, so likely it was a book in a free bin at a used book store. I would have picked it up because I think Ursula K. Le Guin is an excellent writer, but I don't remember this particular book at all. Here's what the book, published nineteen years ago, is all about.
All four stories are set in the future and deal with the planets Yeowe and Werel, both members of the Ekumen, a collective of planets used by Le Guin as part of the background for many novels and short stories in her Hainish Cycle.At the far end of our universe, on the twin planets of Werel and Yeowe, all humankind is divided into "assets" and "owners," tradition and liberation are at war, and freedom takes many forms. Here is a society as complex and troubled as any on our world, peopled with unforgettable characters struggling to become fully human. For the disgraced revolutionary Abberkam, the callow "space brat" Solly, the haughty soldier Teyeo, and the Ekumen historian and Hainish exile Havzhiva, freedom and duty both begin in the heart, and success as well as failure has its costs. In this stunning collection of four intimately interconnected novellas, Ursula K. Le Guin returns to the great themes that have made her one of America's most honored and respected authors.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.