Ursula K. Le Guin
HarperCollins, Mar 2002, 24,95, 384 pp.
Fans of deep science fiction that stars aliens in order to dig into the human condition will want to read Ursula K. Le Guin's powerful anthology. The eight stories are all excellent as each one looks into a “excursion” of sorts with some actuality occurring and others happening inside the minds of the key cast members. Each tale is different with unique perspectives. The characters in each tale are so complete the audience will think they are reading a short novel especially since the action is not neglected as the plots are filled with energy. Six of the stories occur on Ekumen, but still share in common with the other two tales problems with relationships complicated by emotion. THE BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD shows why the award winning Ms. Le Guin remains at the top not just for her highly regarded Earthsea novels, but also for some of the best short stories and novellas of the last couple of decades.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner