By Ursula K Le Guin
Orsinian Tales is a novel by the award winning author Ursula K Le Guin.
This is not only the first non science fiction, but also the first short stories that I've read by Le Guin. Orsinian Tales is eleven stories and 215 pages of stories more alien to me than anything that I've read in a long time (book wise). Strange isn't it? Here's a book with stories about fairly normal people in a fairly normal world and its normality and lack of proper aliens and hi-tech makes it some the strangest stuff that I've read in a long time. A good thing if you ask me. Maybe you should move a few meters way from the sci-fi shelf the next time you are in a book store and pick up something completely different (like this book). As a goodwill gesture towards those poor people that you have tried to force some Science Fiction on (okay, maybe you didn't do that).
Most of the stories in OT takes place in the 20st century, but a few of them takes place before somewhat earlier - most of them takes place in what I think is Europe, but this is never made clear. Some of the stories about the quiet struggle against an oppressive regime or a dull working life. Some of them are about love found and lost, lost and found. Most of them are told from the little mans point of view. I did start out by saying that this isn't science fiction, but it maybe is spectacular fiction, 'cos I can't recognize the world LeGuin has placed her stories in. In some ways it could be an idealized oppressive capitalistic system as seen from our reality or it could be our reality as seen from the eyes of an idealized socialist. Interesting stuff and well written too.
Written on 1st February 1999 by TC .