This Fall, All Your Book-Buying Money Totally Belongs to Ursula K. Le Guin

The Word for World is Forest, cover illustration by Peter Elson

Chances are, you already have a whole shelf full of Ursula K. Le Guin books. You’re not a monster, right? But you’re going to have to make some room on that shelf this fall, because two very special titles are coming down the pike.


First off, in September, The Library of America (which has been doing an amazing job with the novels of Kurt Vonnegut lately) is kicking off an Ursula K. Le Guin series, starting with a volume called Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia. This is a 700-page collection of all Le Guin’s tales of the fictional Eastern European country of Orsinia, which haven’t been available together for decades.

Here’s how the Library of America describes this volume, edited by Brian Attebury:

Before she upended the conventions of science fiction with such pathbreaking works as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin created the richly imagined world of Orsinia, a central European country that serves as a backdrop for her extraordinary extended meditation on the interplay of individual will and the forces of history. The provocative novel Malafrena (written in the 1950s, but not published until 1979) is set in the 1820s, as Orsinia, a small principality of the Habsburg Empire, is swept up in the currents of revolution and nationalism that will transform the western world. Its hero, the idealistic young patriot Itale Sorde, follows his passions from his ancestral estate Val Malafrena into a turbulent wider world in the country’s capital. Thirteen additional stories, including all those originally collected as Orsinian Tales (1976), range from the Middle Ages to the collapse of the communism in 1989 to enact a range personal dramas amid larger social and historical movements. Rounding out the collection are three poems, or songs, including “Folksong from the Montayna Province,” Le Guin’s first published work, which lend additional texture to the intricate Orsinian tapestry.


And if that weren’t enough, in October, Saga Press is putting out The Found and the Lost: The Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin, which collects every single one of Le Guin’s novellas in a single 800-plus-page book.


There’s no table of contents yet—but 800 pages suggests there will probably be some novellas in here that you might not have read yet, plus some that are due for a re-read. And apparently there’s also a reasonably priced box set that includes this volume of novellas, plus two volumes of her short fiction.


[SFSignal and SFSignal, h/t Warrior of Light]

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Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders used to edit io9. She's the author of The City in the Middle of the Night, the story of a girl who gets banished into eternal darkness and makes friends with the creatures there.