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Short Reviews of Short Stories [4]

“Solitude” by Ursula K. Le Guin (1994)

Nobody uses science fiction to explore the differences between the sexes better than Ursula K. Le Guin, so it should be no surprise that she creates a fascinating society as seen through the eyes of a fascinating narrator in the 25 pages of “Solitude.” What I found especially interesting in this story is the way she uses her narrator Ren to slowly expand our understanding of her planet’s society until we find ourselves at the end seeing the comparison with our own society through Ren’s eyes.

Summary: Big ideas on a small stage. This one will stick with you.

–John A. Magee

“Solitude” by Ursula K. Le Guin appears in The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction, from Tachyon Publications.

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