Books by Ursula K. Le Guin

CAT DREAMS by Ursula K. Le Guin
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

A tortoiseshell cat enjoys a run after a chipmunk and some leaps over the furniture, but she's ready for a nap. Read full book review >

LAVINIA by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2008

"Arguably her best novel, and an altogether worthy companion volume to one of the Western world's greatest stories."
Le Guin (Powers, 2007, etc.) departs from her award-winning fantasy and science-fiction novels to amplify a story told only glancingly in Virgil's epic The Aeneid. Read full book review >
POWERS by Ursula K. Le Guin
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Reared in slavery, Gavir knows and understands his place in the world. Read full book review >

VOICES by Ursula K. Le Guin
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

For 17 years, the great trade city of Ansul has been occupied by the Ald invaders, the university destroyed, the library sacked. Read full book review >

GIFTS by Ursula K. Le Guin
FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

The Uplands are bleak and poor, separated into domains of the great lineages, each one defined by its gift. Read full book review >

CHANGING PLANES by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: July 1, 2003

"Inventive and highly entertaining tales. Le Guin's touch is as magical as ever."
The inconveniences and exasperations of airplane travel (described in a bilious prefatory Author's Note) are the starting-point for a sparkling collection of 16 linked stories. Read full book review >
THE OTHER WIND by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

Back among the wizards and dragons of Earthsea (Tales from Earthsea; Tehanu, etc.). Read full book review >

ALWAYS COMING HOME by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 29, 2001

"And no one does this type of utopian near-allegory better."
LeGuin here focuses her inimitable world-building skills on two conflicting societies of the future—implying, of course, their relevance to the present. Read full book review >
THE BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2001

Eight stories, including seven reprints and a never-before-published novella, by the masterful Le Guin (The Telling, 2000, etc.), who has racked some SF and fantasy classics onto her shelf since receiving her first rejection slip, at age 11, from Amazing Stories. The first six tales take place on the world of Ekumen: "Coming of Age in Karhide" spells out societal differences among the androgynes that confused Le Guin 36 years ago when they arrived piecemeal into her imagination for The Left Hand of Darkness. Read full book review >

TOM MOUSE by Ursula K. Le Guin
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

Adventure tales aren't often as quiet as this item, which takes a low-key approach. Read full book review >

THE TELLING by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

Le Guin's latest (Unlocking the Air, 1996, etc.) belongs to her Hainish cycle—Hain being the planet that originally seeded Earth, and many other worlds, with the human species; now the Hainish are revisiting lost worlds and drawing them into the benevolent Ekumene. Read full book review >

Released: March 1, 1999

Feeling the need to stretch her wings, young Jane leaves her feline Overlook Farm family to fly back to the city where she was born. Read full book review >

UNLOCKING THE AIR by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Le Guin's restless intelligence takes her to work in genres from mainstream through fantasy and hard science fiction, while she is equally effective writing for children or adults: Whatever her audience, whatever her thoughts, she has few peers."
Eighteen tales, 1985-95, set forth in crystalline prose and with impeccable technique, collected from publications as varied as The New Yorker, Playboy, Harper's, Omni and small-press chapbooks. Read full book review >
FOUR WAYS TO FORGIVENESS by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Whether constructing a moving and expressive love story, or articulating the feminist subtext, there is no more elegant or discerning expositor than Le Guin."
Four connected long stories from Le Guin (A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, 1994, etc.) featuring the planets Yeowe and Werel, the latter a slave-owning oligarchy, the former its colony. Read full book review >
A FISHERMAN OF THE INLAND SEA by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Limpid, affecting, inimitable, brilliant."
This new collection of science fiction from Le Guin (Searoad, 1991, etc.) is comprised of eight tales, written between 1983 and 1994, drawn from various magazines and anthologies. Read full book review >
WONDERFUL ALEXANDER AND THE CATWINGS by Ursula K. Le Guin
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

The endearing winged cats who escaped the city to be cared for by two reliable country children (Catwings, 1988, etc.) make a third appearance in this tale of a self-important kitten from nearby who discovers that his true worth is not what he has supposed. Read full book review >

FISH SOUP by Ursula K. Le Guin
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

A lighthearted, if carefully honed, fable that young readers can enjoy for its whimsical good humor while adults ponder Le Guin's continuing exploration of yin and yang. Read full book review >

A RIDE ON THE RED MARE'S BACK by Ursula K. Le Guin
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

A beautifully crafted tale, drawing on Scandinavian folklore (including Peer Gynt) and recalling the theme of Andersen's The Snow Queen, yet told with such freshness and grace that it seems entirely new. Read full book review >

SEAROAD by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Another triumph."
Various private lives in an Oregon seaside village are pried open for inspection in this winning example of Le Guin's best writing—meditative, perceptive, and dead-on in its characterizations. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1990

"A grand conclusion to a revered cycle."
The time is out of joint in Earthsea, but it will not be Ged—seeking a new raison d'etre while grieving his recently lost powers as Archmage and hiding from the animosity of minor wizards—who can set it right. Read full book review >
FIRE AND STONE by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: March 13, 1989

"Le Guin deftly brings out the humor in her ironical story; Marshall, with a remarkably sure hand for a first book, uses authoritative line and perspective and rich, bright color to bring Le Guin's imaginary world to dramatic life."
Once upon a time there was a country that lived in fear of a dragon." Read full book review >
CATWINGS RETURN by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: March 1, 1989

In a sequel to Catwings (p. 975/C-162), two of the four winged kittens—who now live happily in the country with children who love them too much to exploit them—return to the city to visit their mother, only to find that their birthplace—a slum—is in the midst of demolition, their dumpster home gone. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 10, 1988

"The graceful, philosophical repartee is well complemented by Austin's lustrous, detailed paintings of a pristine fantasy world."
A beautiful book with intriguing illustrations—but only special children are going to be amused by the wry, philosophical text in "one of the first tales ever written" by its famous author. Read full book review >
CATWINGS by S.D. Schindler
Released: Sept. 1, 1988

"Schindler's exquisitely detailed drawings, warmed with the softest of added color, make a perfect accompaniment to what should serve as a satisfying young reader or as a read-aloud."
A charming, if insubstantial, little story about the setting out into the world of four alley kittens who were born with wings—perhaps "their father was a fly-by-night" Once they begin to fly, their mother (Mrs. Jane Tabby)—because she realizes that the neighborhood is "terrible. . .and getting worse," and because she is making her own plans with Mr. Tom Jones, who has proposed—sends them out to seek their fortune. Read full book review >
VISIT FROM DR. KATZ, A by Ann Barrow
ANIMALS
Released: May 30, 1988

"Slight, but charming."
From the eminent SF author, a simple but deftly told tale about a pair of cats who comfort a little girl, Marianne, when she's in bed with the flu. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 13, 1988

"Her often brilliant fiction scores higher by setting aside the didacticism."
A very mixed bag indeed, comprising 36 talks and essays (1976-88) and 17 reviews (1977-86), ranging from travel pieces and literary discussions to feminism, commencement addresses, and social-consciousness-raisers. Read full book review >
THE COMPASS ROSE by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 21, 1982

"But, for the most part, there are inexhaustible playings and seeings and imaginings—from a shrewd and various writer who can think something through till it seems to cohere in the mind's eye."
As a guide to sailors this book is not to be trusted," remarks Ursula Le Guin of her latest collection of stories. Read full book review >
THE EYE OF THE HERON by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION
Released: Jan. 12, 1982

"With its overkill of earnest understatement, it is nearly a parody of this writer's best work." (Inflationary note: the Kidd anthology, with the Le Guin as one of a half-dozen selections, cost $3.00 less than this Le Guin-alone reprint four years later.)"
This novella originally appeared in 1978, as one of the contributions to Millennial Women, an anthology edited by Virginia Kidd. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1981

"Now and again, welcomely, the good writer prevails over the inept poet—but these occasions are too rare to redeem the volume as a whole."
Like so many other prose writers, sf eminence Le Guin appears to regard verse as an opportunity to run amok—she abandons narrative, syntax, and punctuation for glib nursery rhymes and a mythopoeic beat: "sun dance/ stone dance/ bone dance/ one dance." Read full book review >
MALAFRENA by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 26, 1979

"But notwithstanding an occasional mistiness around the edges, Malafrena is Le Guin's masterpiece to date—a provocative adventure firmly founded on an unmodish and undeviating nobility of style, of mind, and above all of responsible imagination."
The fictional evocation of any milieu should bear a certain responsibility to the question—"What would it be like to live there?"—and no one has a clearer sense of this responsibility than the science-fiction writer Ursula Le Guin; and no one pursues it in more unexpected directions. Read full book review >
LEESE WEBSTER by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: Sept. 10, 1979

"Not the brilliant parable that might have been expected, but sound and expertly spun like any fine web."
A spider with a creative bent, Leese breaks away from family tradition to weave webs inspired by the paintings and carpets in the deserted palace where she lives. Read full book review >
Released: April 24, 1979

"Just how much better Wood might have done can be surmised from Jeff Levin's invaluable Le Guin bibliography, reprinted here as an appendix."
If you want evidence that people are thinking and writing about science fiction these days with sophistication and good sense, you need go no further than this volume. Read full book review >
THE BEGINNING PLACE by Ursula K. Le Guin
FANTASY
Released: Feb. 6, 1979

"An impeccable parable—and some of the best work ever by a humane, high-minded, underappreciated novelist."
This short novel, which could probably be read with equal pleasure by any intelligent person between the ages of 14 and 90, is a paradox of sorts: a fantasy about the limitations of fantasy. Read full book review >
CITY OF ILLUSIONS by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: June 1, 1978

"But the writing—particularly the descriptions of Falk's westward trek—has the generous ardor and judiciousness which mark Le Guin as the rara avis she is: a sci-fi novelist writing for grownups."
Hardcover reissue of an early (1967) Le Guin novel. Read full book review >
PLANET OF EXILE by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 15, 1977

"Graceful, thoughtful, unassuming."
This appealing short novel or longish novella, originally published some eleven years ago, is a perfect illustration of Le Guin's concern with the influences that shape a culture or ethos. Read full book review >
ORSINIAN TALES by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 29, 1976

"One hopes that Le Guin will return to this bleak, lovely land soon and often."
These eleven interwoven stories, written over a period of many years, reflect Le Guin's characteristic feeling for what some call "background": the persistent accumulation of detail about a society's past, present, geography, ecology that give her sf worlds such effortless dimension. Read full book review >
THE WORD FOR WORLD IS FOREST by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: April 12, 1976

"Lesser Le Guin, but often impressive."
Terran logging interests vs. the gentle natives of Athshe. Read full book review >
NEBULA AWARD STORIES ELEVEN by Ursula K. Le Guin
Released: Feb. 16, 1976

"There are some good things here, but they don't add up to a balance of approaches and themes."
Seven 1975 Nebula winners and runners-up, together with Peter Nicholls' nice but slapdash survey of the year in sf and Vonda N. McIntyre's shallow ruminations on the state of the art. P. J. Plauger does a wry and dry turn on the notion of immortal youth; Harlan Ellison works out a Doppelganger situation with negligent finesse. Read full book review >
THE WIND'S TWELVE QUARTERS by Ursula K. Le Guin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 21, 1975

"For the most part, she leans toward abiding moral dilemmas, pursued with intelligent sympathy but an occasionally overdemonstrative piety."
Seventeen short stories by a major sf luminary of generously ranging interests and likable convictions. Read full book review >
THE DISPOSSESSED by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 8, 1974

"All through, this impresses with small but incalculably right choices which add up solidly and confirm Mrs. Le Guin as one of our finest projectionists of brave old and other worlds."
It's a few thousand years from now, a time of widened horizons but all too familiar contours. Read full book review >
THE FARTHEST SHORE by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 8, 1972

"Further, although each of the two previous volumes was complete in itself there is an organic relationship among the three that cannot be realized without Ged's final, mighty "Be thou made whole" and his drawing of the Rune of Ending."
In the third of the Earthsea volumes Sparrowhawk-Ged, now archmage at Roke, undertakes a long sea odyssey in search of the vague evil that is drying up true magic throughout the islands. Read full book review >
THE TOMBS OF ATUAN by Ursula K. Le Guin
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Sept. 10, 1971

"The usual tidy ending is foregone, though, just as the story is not the usual allegory; the abstractions do not so much dictate the events as rise naturally from Tenar's real struggles and transformations in her firmly structured underground world."
A finely realized fantasy set in the ancient Place of the Tombs, a desert society of women and eunuchs, where Tenar is taken at six and renamed Arha, the Eaten One, because her former existence must be cast off when she becomes high priestess to the Nameless Ones, the spirits of the tombs. Read full book review >