The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

The Birthday of the World and Other StoriesEbook The Birthday Of The World And Other Stories Ursula K Le Guin For Than Four Decades, Ursula K Le Guin Has Enthralled Readers With Her Imagination, Clarity, And Moral Vision The Recipient Of Numerous Literary Prizes, Including The National Book Award, The Kafka Award, And Five Hugo And Five Nebula Awards, This Renowned Writer Has, In Each Story And Novel, Created A Provocative, Ever Evolving Universe Filled With Diverse Worlds And Rich Characters Reminiscent Of Our Earthly Selves Now, In The Birthday Of The World, This Gifted Artist Returns To These Worlds In Eight Brilliant Short Works, Including A Never Before Published Novella, Each Of Which Probes The Essence Of Humanity.Here Are Stories That Explore Complex Social Interactions And Troublesome Issues Of Gender And Sex That Define And Defy Notions Of Personal Relationships And Of Society Itself That Examine Loyalty, Survival, And Introversion That Bring To Light The Vicissitudes Of Slavery And The Meaning Of Transformation, Religion, And History.The First Six Tales In This Spectacular Volume Are Set In The Author S Signature World Of The Ekumen, My Pseudo Coherent Universe With Holes In The Elbows, As Le Guin Describes It A World Made Familiar In Her Award Winning Novel The Left Hand Of Darkness The Seventh, Title Story Was Hailed By Publishers Weekly As Remarkable A Standout The Final Offering In The Collection, Paradises Lost, Is A Mesmerizing Novella Of Space Exploration And The Pursuit Of Happiness.In Her Foreword, Ursula K Le Guin Writes, To Create Difference To Establish Strangeness Then To Let The Fiery Arc Of Human Emotion Leap And Close The Gap This Acrobatics Of The Imagination Fascinates And Satisfies Me As No Other In The Birthday Of The World, This Gifted Literary Acrobat Exhibits A Dazzling Array Of Skills That Will Fascinate And Satisfy Us All. The Birthday of the World and other stories by Ursula K LeGuin is a beautifully written collection of stories crafted by an artist whose ability to create deeply meaningful speculative fiction has placed her high among peers.Providing a foreword to her work, LeGuin makes a persuasive case that the collection of short stories should be considered its own genre While her reasoning makes sense and should be considered, LeGuin really makes her case in the pages that follow Creating a panorama of humanity with frank sexuality and sincere emotion, LeGuin again creates a speculative fiction work that transcends that genre and bridges the gap with works that evoke human behavior, group dynamics, cultural and social foundations Science fiction may be her medium, but the result of her craft is fiction that resonates with what it means to be a man and a woman Coming of Age in Karhide was first published in 1995 and takes place on Gethen the planet of The Left Hand of Darkness, part of LeGuin s Hainish cycle Fans of TLHOD will recall that the hermaphroditic Gethenians are either male or female during a monthly phase called kemmer LeGuin uses this setting as a further exploration of that creation and also as a transcendent means of expressing a uniquely human experience either from a man or woman s perspective The Matter of Seggri first released in 1994 and also in LeGuin s Hain universe, this is a deeply personal, introspective description of alteration and renewal Un
I liked all the stories here, but Paradises Lost I loved I thought about it since yesterday, and decided to knock this book up from four to five stars because of Paradises Lost, and that s the story I d like to write about here This novella is about a generational ship travelling from Earth to a new, distant planet, to study it and see whether or not it can be colonized After reading this, I was considering whether such an enterprise would ever be successful, not because of technological limitations, but rather if human nature would be doomed to compromise it We get to know a bit about the ships history, but the main focus lies on the fifth generation to live on the ship The technological aspects of the ship works very well, people are safe and comfortable, they have never known cold or hunger or thirst or just being really tired after a long day of physical labor They always walk barefoot, and children are naked, because their environment perfectly accommodates human needs and wants In one way they re very smart people, but at the same time very naive They cannot imagine the hardships of colonizing a new planet Or even of living without walls around them all the time They cannot even imagine clouds, wind, sky They know in theory what these things are, but have no feel for them There are several very interesting paragraphs about what nature human nature civilization and control really mean, se
I think it s something of a clich to say that science fiction is about the here and now Reading Iain M Banks or Vernor Vinge, who write awesome adventure novels about post humans and super intelligent computers set in space in the far future, it s easy to forget just how much light SF can shed on the condition of us earth bound, unenhanced humans of the early 21st century And then you read Ursula Le Guin and remember For that reason alone, The Birthday of the World is a spectacular book each of these stories is set in a society where an alien biology or social cultural stricture dramatizes some pretty fundamental aspects of the human condition, mainly gender roles, relationships, sex, and sexuality because what s fundamental, really Coming of Age in Karhide, which is set in the same world as Left Hand of Darkness, is the first person reminiscence of a Gethenian s first time in kemmer But where Left Hand of Darkness was pretty chaste, describing the process by which the androgynous Gethenians temporarily develop sexual organs during kemmer, Coming of Age in Karhide takes us inside the Kemmer house and does not shrink from graphic descriptions of what goes on there I remember a short while after finishing Left Hand of Darkness the firs
Wow I was an anthropology and sociology major at the University of Michigan, and I picked up this book for free at a used book sale Impressed would be an understatement Guin s stories are as thorough as the ethnographies that I have to read for my Anthro classes class, gender, inequality, signification, and are covered in a writing that envelopes and enchants the reader My favorite story is Paradise Lost , a story about the culture and mythology that are created in a space vessel of humans travelling for generations towards a destination set by
Reread mostly of Hainish stories mostly , as my personal memorial to the author, now sadly gone Some of her very best shorts collected here TOC and publishing histories of the stories intro is great She s told the story before, about the ramshackle construction and spotty history of her Hainish cycle Or, as she prefers, her Suite of Hainish stories Since publishers are allergic to Collections of shorts, which indeed don t generally sell well I ll add stories as I read them, so this will take awhile Coming of Age in Karhide 1995 novelette All the Stars This was written as a companion piece to Left Hand of Darkness , to better explicate the anthropology of Gethen Winter and its almost human inhabitants Who are not homo saps we are the exceptions in the world of mammals, being permanently in kemmer a perversion, to their eyes What s the story about Exactly what it says Ah, here s a copy online as a child I was a member of a flock, a school a swarm, in and out of our warren of rooms, tearing up and down the stair
I initially didn t think I d love this book as much as I did but here I am, thrilled and happy I don t think there s any story here that I didn t enjoy, and there are a few.This is a book about sexuality and its social meaning about what it s like for a society to be composed of members who go into heat once a month and only grow sexual organs then About what it s like to have four categories of people two genders, two moieties, which are strange and abstract to describe, but easy enough to understand and needing one of each type to complete a marriage This is also a book about a society of introverts who meditate, building their souls, not caring about science and the outside world It s a book about people on a spaceship, travelling through space for generations, never knowing what it s like to be under the open sky.It s about religion and spirituality, as well how they appear in likely and unlikely places, in likely and unlikely forms, and they intertwine with science and visitors from other worlds It s a book about many things, but what I enjoyed most is the careful detail, the consideration Ursula K Le Guin showed in crafting the worlds and creating her characters and their situations The plots are perhaps less strong, but that only allows the atmosphere to be pervasive, the worlds to grow larger and stronger You can feel the anthropological influence here, the exploration of unknown societies, their rules, their rituals, t
Ursula Leguin is a genius at speculative fiction What she does is create worlds like little tiny machines, with something at the heart of them that drives them differently from ours Then she starts them and sees where they go, and writes beautiful, beautiful stories about them.This collection of stories explores a variety of worlds It takes us back to the world of The Left Hand of Darkness, where the inhabitants are genderless most of the time, only becoming male or female for short periods of time, and explores how exactly that works in a coming of age story She writes a sequence about a world in which there are 16 women to each man, exploring the anguish and pain the social customs that developed cause people In one of my favorites, she creates a world entirely of introverts, a world with no people, only persons who meet only briefly and speak only rarely She gives us a world where marriages are made in sets of four people, two men and two women each member has one male lover, one female lover, and one taboo oppo
I especially love the Hainish stories in the first half of this book, which are primarily dedicated to exploring sexuality and relationships in different societies Though I have quibbles with both of them, I also ended up really appreciating Birthday of the World and Paradises Lost , which I think do a really beautiful job of exploring the kind of massive events that change entire societies I have fond re
This book is listed as Hainish Cycle 10 but I haven t read any of the prior 9 I know, shame on me and I had no problem with them They all focus on different worlds and civilizations, which I assume have at least been touched on within the other Hainish Cycle stories As per any oth
Coming of Age in Karhide A pretty straightforward title for a pretty straightforward story If you read The Left Hand of Darkness and wondered about Kemmer and exactly how it worked, this will clarify things Fascinating The Matter of Seggri Seggri is a world where the number of females is greater than males to a magnitude of 6 Males are venerated and cosseted and do little than compete in games and impregnate females The females do pretty much everything else and, it could be argued, hold all the power in the society However, when the Ekumen arrive, the world has to decide whether the way they ve always done things will continue A very interesting thought experiment, but also really sad Unchosen Love and Mountain Ways take place on the planet O, where, in addition to genders, the people also have moieties and enter into marriages in groups of four, two of each gender and two of each moiety The planet was first featured in the title story of A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, and LeGuin writes in the forward of this book that she did so much work in hashing out

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  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • English
  • 24 March 2017
  • 9780575074798