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Masterworks Spotlight: Always Coming Home

Neglected masterpiece. Unsung classic. Unjustly-overlooked genius.

We live in a time of ridiculous hyperbole. A time when terms such as ‘classic’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘genius’ have become so overused as to be almost meaningless. A time when films garner four stars for being competent and five for being better than average. A time when politicians demand standing ovations simply for not kicking themselves in the face while walking.

It’s a hard time, then, for an actual genius to receive just praise for a work of brilliance. But, in our own small way, we’d like to try to set that right for just one work of brilliance by just one genius. That genius is, of course, the great Ursula K. Le Guin, and her brilliant study of a people who don’t yet exist: Always Coming Home.

An unsung masterpiece from one of fantastic literature’s greatest writers.

A long, long time from now, in the valleys of what will no longer be called Northern California, might be going to have lived a people called the Kesh.

But Always Coming Home is not the story of the Kesh. Rather it is the stories of the Kesh – stories, poems, songs, recipes – Always Coming Home is no less than an anthropological account of a community that does not yet exist, a tour de force of imaginative fiction by one of modern literature’s great voices.

With a new introduction by Hugo Award-winning author, John Scalzi.

It is a remarkable book.  But don’t take our word for it; this is the view of the Oxford Times:

Sometimes you open a book and find in a dozen pages the world inside more solid than the room where you sit . . . surely destined to become a classic. It is, perhaps, a work of genius

Amen.

You can find details of available print titles at Ursula Le Guin’s page on the Orion website, explore her available eBooks on the SF Gateway and read more about the author in her entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.