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The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin, Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands

Narrated by: Tandy Cronyn
Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $45.69

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Publisher's Summary

Outer Space, Inner Lands includes many of the best known Ursula K. Le Guin nonrealistic stories (such as "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," "Semley' s Necklace," and "She Unnames Them") which have shaped the way many listeners see the world. She gives voice to the voiceless, hope to the outsider, and speaks truth to power - all the time maintaining her independence and sense of humor.

Companion volume Where on Earth explores Le Guin's satirical, risky, political and experimental earthbound stories. Both volumes include new introductions by the author.

©2012 Ursula K. LeGuin (P)2014 Recorded Books

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Profile Image for Sharon A. Gadonniex
  • Sharon A. Gadonniex
  • 29-05-2015

Ursula Le Guin is a Master

I loved the complex and believable characters, and the way Le Guin explores deeply issues of gender, sexuality, and how we see ourselves, whether through the eyes of an alien, a differently imagined culture, or another species. She has a way of turning assumptions on their heads and using that position to examine and question, but fully in the context of an engaging story. The exploration just unfolds itself. I also loved the narration... Tandy Cronyn's voice hit just the right notes, pardon the pun.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Evan Goldsborough
  • Evan Goldsborough
  • 18-01-2020

chapter names

1.Introduction
2.The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
3-Semely’s Necklace
4-Nine Lives
5-Mazes
6-The First Contact with the Gorgonids
7-The Shobies’ Story
8-Betrayals
9-The Matter of Seggri
10. authors notes
11-Solitude
12-The Wild Girls
13-The Flyers of Gy
14-The Silence of the Asonu
15-The Ascent of the North Face
16-The Author of the Acacia Seeds
17-The Wife’s Story
18-The Rule of Names
19-Small Change
20-The Poacher
21-Sur
22-She Unnames Them

- 1 star for lazy publishing!

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth
  • 08-07-2017

Always Relevant and Fresh

First read this author as a teen, she opened my mind to new ways of seeing our own world. The best that science fiction/fantasy can do for me. What a joy to come back to her as an older person and be more in wonderment than the first time. Every story like a gem with depth, I know now she set a standard of writing I looked for and rarely found in following decades of voracious reading.

Revisit Ursula if it has been awhile. Read her by all means if you have been touched by the recent revival of "The Handmaid's Tale."

The narrator is very good. It enhances the characters, ranging in age and gender with polish I would only expect from the stage.

Best, these stories have some kind of hopeful ending. In writing about alien races Ursula gives me insight into human strength and capacity to love.

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  • Lindsay
  • 13-10-2015

It was easy to like

Most of the stories were refreshingly odd. Well written, and enjoyable.

I loved almost everything. The narrator was ok. But the stories were very entertaining.

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Profile Image for Mary K Foster
  • Mary K Foster
  • 18-04-2020

Surreal & Stunning!

This was my first full foray into the bright-dark world of Le Guin, and as with many famed authors I am easing into for the first time, a sharp collection of electric short stories was the right call for me— and if the same is true for you, start here, but know as I have learned that Le Guin did not come to make you feel comfortable. Much in the vein of Mary Shelley in the 19th and Margaret Cavendish in the 17th century, Le Guin’s work does not so much disturb as she does destabilize. She doesn’t want to throw you into a “new” or “blazing world” (even when she does) for the sake of the imagined world; she is doing so to draw into the light the familiar grievances that are so ingrained in our “real” lives that we cannot see, much less be outraged by them. But that’s her art— you aren’t familiar with the planet or the people or their social structures; but you do (hopefully) recognize misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, discrimination, cruelty, and exploitation when you see it in a narrative, and you notice it in all of its gore because it’s the only thing that looks familiar. To this end, Le Guin not only picks up the tradition of science fiction as a vehicle of cultural destabilization (as with Shelley and Cavendish); but recasts this legacy in the atmosphere of 20th century “progress”— to blast down confining, finite (the truly performative “unreal”) constructs of the very “real” infinities of science fiction. Also, pro-tip: I usually speed through books at 1.5-2x pace, but this does a disservice to both Le Guin’s art and Tandy Cronyn’s performance. Stay between 1-1.3x for full-force.

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  • yafftastic
  • 20-12-2019

Enjoyable

Great stories even for those not into science, but would have benefited from a longer pause between each.

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Profile Image for Katie Oxley
  • Katie Oxley
  • 06-11-2018

beautiful short stories that make you think

love this! the stories are beautifully done and great for thinking about why things are.

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  • R. Carpenter
  • 30-12-2014

Very good, but where are the titles?

Good readings of these excellent stories, but spoilt by the lack of titles for the individual stories, only 'chapter' numbers.

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  • Andy Kimbrey
  • 11-05-2019

Great stories, bad recording

These stories and the narrator are both wonderful but somehow Audible have messed this up: there is no gap between the chapters, it literally goes from the last line of the story to the title of the next as if they're the same sentence. Also, why are the chapters not named, are you meant to guess which story to listen to based on the duration? There are weird background noises throughout, as if this is being recorded at someone's home and the dishwasher keeps starting and stopping, then the garbage disposal turns on. It's a real shame.

2 people found this helpful