The Wild Girls

Dirt children in a society of sword and silk, are determined to enter “that possible even when unattainable space in which there is room for justice” leading to a violent and loving end. Plus Le Guin’s scorching essay on corporate publishing.

Ursula K. Le Guin is the one modern science fiction author who truly needs no introduction. In the forty years since The Left Hand of Darkness, her works have changed not only the face but the tone and the agenda of SF, introducing themes of gender, race, socialism and anarchism, all the while thrilling readers with trips to strange (and strangely familiar) new worlds. She is our exemplar of what fantastic literature can and should be about.

Her Nebula winner “The Wild Girls,” newly revised and presented here in book form for the first time, tells of two captive “dirt children” in a society of sword and silk, whose determination to enter “that possible even when unattainable space in which there is room for justice” leads to a violent and loving end.

Plus: Le Guin’s scandalous and scorching Harper’s essay, “Staying Awake While We Read,” (also collected here for the first time) which demolishes the pretensions of corporate publishing and the basic assumptions of capitalism as well. And of course our “Outspoken Interview” which promises to reveal the hidden dimensions of America’s best-known SF author. And delivers.

“Idiosyncratic and convincing, Le Guin’s characters have a long afterlife.” —Publishers Weekly

“Her worlds are haunting psychological visions molded with firm artistry.” —The Library Journal

“If you want excess and risk and intelligence, try Le Guin.” —The San Francisco Chronicle

“Her characters are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace.” —Time

“She wields her pen with a moral and psychological sophistication rarely seen. What she really does is write fables: splendidly intricate and hugely imaginative tales about such mundane concerns as life, death, love, and sex.” —Newsweek

Ursula K. Le Guin’s novels and stories have won every major SF and fantasy award as well as the Pen/Malamud and the National Book Award. A mentor to two generations of radical feminist and progressive writers, she lives in Portland, Oregon

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