Ben Smithgall

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Software and data at Spotify. Previously with U.S. Digital Service and Code for America.

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Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 1

By Ursula K. Le Guin (with Brian Attebery)

Finished reading on August 12, 2018

As a physical artifact, it’s hard to beat books published by the Library of America: the book is weighty but not oppressive. The individual pages are creamy and delicate with beautiful print that manages to not bleed through the immaculately thin setting.

Of course, the interior of this particular book is also a treat, containing not only a number of truly excellent and mind-bending works of fiction (The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed are treasures) but a number of stories stitched together in a way that show Le Guin’s evolution as an author and thinker throughout her life. Her introduction is also worth the price of admission (free from your public library!); she explains the evolution of her thinking in terms of the League of All Worlds and the Ansible, a devise that allows instantaneous communication regardless of distance apart.

It is always a joy to read Le Guin, and this book is a wonderful introduction to the Hanish cycle.

★★★★★