Under heavy work pressure at the moment, so I'm returning to basics. I've read the collection a couple of times before, but it was nice to be reminded of, say the early Earthsea story, "The Rule of Names", with that great couple of sentences ending the penultimate paragraph:
But they did stop talking about it, three days later. They had other things to talk about, when Mr Underhill finally came out of his cave.Which will mean nothing to you unless and until you read the story. There are a number of other cool stories in the book, such as "Nine Lives" and "Vaster than Empires and More Slow". And one or two that still appeal to the teenage geek in me such as "April in Paris".
The other issue that interested me - really because of my recent exchange with fjm - was Le Guin's claims about her own feminism. Her introduction to "Winter's King" certainly sounds as if she defined herself as a feminist in 1975, but also as if she felt she had not been sufficiently conscious to gender issues when the story was first published in 1969 (a point she makes explicitly, for different reasons, about the first publication of "Nine Lives" in 1968 - in Playboy). I'll obviously have to read more of what she says about her own work.