Hardcover reissue of an early (1967) Le Guin novel. The outworlder Falk finds himself in a state of amnesia on an Earth reduced to fragmented enclaves of semi-civilization by a mysterious, apparently human enemy known as the Shing. Searching for his former identity, he must cross the North American continent to the strange city of Es Toch, where the Shing offer to restore his pre-amnesiac personality (Ramarren, ship's navigator of a crucial mission to Earth) at the cost of his hard-won new memories as Falk. In many ways this is tentative and imperfect Le Guin. As she candidly admits in her introduction, the scheming, "mindlying" Shing "are the least convincing lot of people I ever wrote." The mental ordeal of Falk-Ramarren is realized at a rather muffled and anonymous remove. 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.