From the book jacket: In the tradition of other groundbreaking Norton anthologies, Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery's Norton Book of Science Fiction provides the first truly comprehensive and coherent look at the best of contemporary science fiction. Its 67 stories, all published since 1960, offer compelling evidence that science fiction is the source of the most thoughtful, imaginative-indeed, literary- fiction being written today. Aficionados will find rarely anthologized gems by their favorite authors-Poul Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, Joanna Russ, Theodore Sturgeon, James Tiptree, Jr., Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny-as well as startling work by today's rising stars. Newcomers will delight in the sophisticated range of voices probing the nature of reality and the condition of the human spirit. And readers of all stripes will enjoy Ms. Le Guin's robust and insightful introduction. As the new millennium approaches we look to our great writers to provide the bridge between past and present, between what is today and what will be in the future. Those writers are these. Their stories-and thus this anthology-will be a source of exhilaration and illumination for years to come.
As a geometric term, parabola suggests a narrative trajectory or story arc. In science fiction, parabolas take us from the known to the unknown. More concrete than themes, more complex than motifs, parabolas are combinations of meaningful setting, character, and action that lend themselves to endless redefinition and jazzlike improvisation. The fourteen original essays in this collection explore how the field of science fiction has developed as a complex of repetitions, influences, arguments, and broad conversations. This particular feature of the genre has been the source of much critical commentary, most notably through growing interest in the "sf megatext," a continually expanding archive of shared images, situations, plots, characters, settings, and themes found in science fiction across media. Contributors include Jane Donawerth, Terry Dowling, L. Timmel Duchamp, Rachel Haywood Ferreira, Pawel Frelik, David M. Higgins, Amy J. Ransom, John Rieder, Nicholas Ruddick, Graham Sleight, Gary K. Wolfe, and Lisa Yaszek.
The inaugural volume of Library of America's Ursula K. Le Guin edition gathers her complete Orsinian writings, enchanting, richly imagined historical fiction collected here for the first time. Written before Le Guin turned to science fiction, the novel Malafrena is a tale of love and duty set in the central european country of Orsinia in the early nineteenth century, when it is ruled by the Austrian empire. The stories originally published in Orsinian Tales (1976) offer brilliantly rendered episodes of personal drama set against a history that spans Orsinia's emergence as an independent kingdom in the twelfth century to its absorption by the eastern Bloc after World War II. The volume is rounded out by two additional stories that bring the history of Orsinia up to 1989, the poem "Folksong from the Montayna Province," Le Guin's first published work, and two never before published songs in the Orisinian language.From the Hardcover edition.
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