Changing planes /

by Le Guin, Ursula K; Beddows, Eric [ill.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Orlando : Harcourt, 2003Edition: 1st ed.Description: 246 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.ISBN: 0151009716 :.Title notes: $22.00 7-2003Subject(s): Fantasy fiction, American | Imaginary societies | Voyages, ImaginaryOnline resources: Publisher description
Sita Dulip's method -- Porridge on Islac -- The silence of the Asonu -- Feeling at home with the Hennebet -- The ire of the Veksi -- Seasons of the Ansarac -- Social dreaming of the Frin -- The royals of Hegn -- Woeful tales from Mahigul -- Great Joy -- Wake Island -- The Nna Mmoy language -- The Building -- The flyers of Gy -- The Island of the Immortals -- Confusions of Uñi.
Awards: Click to open in new window
    Average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Home library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Books Books Altadena Main Library
Adult Collection Adult Science Fiction SF LEG Available 39270002347403

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

"Then came a child trotting to school with his little backpack. He trotted on all fours, neatly, his hands in leather mitts or boots that protected them from the pavement; he was pale, with small eyes, and a snout, but he was adorable."<br> --from Changing Planes <br> <br> The misery of waiting for a connecting flight at an airport leads to the accidental discovery of alighting on other planes--not airplanes but planes of existence. Ursula Le Guin's deadpan premise frames a series of travel accounts by the tourist-narrator who describes bizarre societies and cultures that sometimes mirror our own, and sometimes open puzzling doors into the alien.<br> <br> <br> Winner of the PEN/Malamud for Short Stories<br>

Sita Dulip's method -- Porridge on Islac -- The silence of the Asonu -- Feeling at home with the Hennebet -- The ire of the Veksi -- Seasons of the Ansarac -- Social dreaming of the Frin -- The royals of Hegn -- Woeful tales from Mahigul -- Great Joy -- Wake Island -- The Nna Mmoy language -- The Building -- The flyers of Gy -- The Island of the Immortals -- Confusions of Uñi.

$22.00 7-2003

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Contents of Changing Planes with a little description
  • Note The author acknowledges the readers' discomfort with air travel after 9
  • 11 Sita Dulip's Method How Sita Dulip, sitting between flights in an awful airport, learned to travel to other planes of existence by focusing her mind in a certain way
  • The result: a more interesting kind of tourism
  • The Porridge on Islac On Islac, people are physically very different from one another: the aftermath of an unfortunate boom and crash in genetic engineering
  • Cautionary, humorous, with a touch of poetry (bearwigs are recombinant teddy bears that developed a taste for book glue and paper)
  • The Wisdom of the Asonu The Asonu become silent as they mature: their total abstinence from language is unsettling
  • Questioning the Hennebet The Hennebet look just like us, but their minds (sort of Taoist) are totally alien
  • The traveler tries to but cannot communicate with them; a glimpse of their worldview makes her less sure about her own
  • The Angry Veksi A society torn by violence, which, however, has its human rules of conduct(It's about human violence, of course)
  • Social Dreaming of the Frin A society in which dreaming is communal, not personal
  • Fascinating examination of the idea that some loss of self is necessary for selfhood
  • The Royals of Hegn Satire of the Brits and their absurd fascination with royalty
  • In Hegn, everyone is royal and comeletely dotty about the very few Commoners (who are really low-class)
  • Tales of Blood from Mahigul Histories that are political allegories of man's inhumanity to man
  • All about war, tyranny, self-destruction (Male-dominated, of course)
  • Wake Island An experiment to make children smarter by having them require less sleep, then no sleep at all, backfires: without sleep, people become mindless animals (Another approach to the loss-of-self idea)
  • The Nna Mmoy Language A language so alien and complex, it contains an entire culture (its speakers live primitively)
  • The traveler's vain attempts to use a translating machine
  • The Building This account of two cultures and of a migration to build a mysterious building, generation after generation, touches on the question, What is art? That is, the transcendental, nonutilitarian strivings of human beings (Influence of Borges here)
  • The Gyran Hatred of Wings The blessing and the curse (more curse than blessing) of growing wings and flying
  • The Gyr put up with-try to ignore-their affliction, going about their business as lawyers, accountants, etc
  • Yet the inspiring image of flight remains
  • The Island of the Immortals A horror story, worse than "Wake Island," and probably from Gulliver's Travels: some people, bitten by a fly, cannot die
  • Buried alive, after centuries, they turn to diamonds, still alive
  • Confusion in Untilde;i A virtual reality satire taken from the pages of Stanislaw Lem: the traveler becomes lost in a VR machine and passes from one ridiculous dream to another
  • Great Joy Big business and the travel industry produce a monstrous Disneylike theme park, exploiting the natives
  • Humorous (a village full of Santa Clauses that speak with an accent), but also acerbic, being close to home
  • The Seasons of the Ansarac A society that alternates between city life and country life, each having its joys and miseries
  • Commentary on the mortality of humanity: its sorrow alleviated by a sexual dance

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

<opt> <anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">SITA DULIP'S METHODTHE RANGE OF THE AIRPLANE-a few thousand miles, the other side of the world, coconut palms, glaciers, the poles, the Poles, a lama, a llama, etc.-is pitifully limited compared to the vast extent and variety of experience provided, to those who know how to use it, by the airport.Airplanes are cramped, jammed, hectic, noisy, germy, alarming, and boring, and they serve unusually nasty food at utterly unreasonable intervals. Airports, though larger, share the crowding, vile air, noise, and relentless tension, while their food is often even nastier, consisting entirely of fried lumps of something; and the places one has to eat it in are suicidally depressing. On the airplane, everyone is locked into a seat with a belt and can move only during very short periods when they are allowed to stand in line waiting to empty their bladders until, just before they reach the toilet cubicle, a nagging loudspeaker harries them back to belted immobility. In the airport, luggage-laden people rush hither and yon through endless corridors, like souls to each of whom the devil has furnished a different, inaccurate map of the escape route from hell. These rushing people are watched by people who sit in plastic seats bolted to the floor and who might just as well be bolted to the seats. So far, then, the airport and the airplane are equal, in the way that the bottom of one septic tank is equal, all in all, to the bottom of the next septic tank.If both you and your plane are on time, the airport is merely a diffuse, short, miserable prelude to the intense, long, miserable plane trip. But what if there's five hours between your arrival and your connecting flight, or your plane is late arriving and you've missed your connection, or the connecting flight is late, or the staff of another airline are striking for a wage-benefit package and the government has not yet ordered out the National Guard to control this threat to international capitalism so your airline staff is trying to handle twice as many people as usual, or there are tornadoes or thunderstorms or blizzards or little important bits of the plane missing or any of the thousand other reasons (never under any circumstances the fault of the airlines, and rarely explained at the time) why those who go places on airplanes sit and sit and sit and sit in airports, not going anywhere?In this, probably its true aspect, the airport is not a prelude to travel, not a place of transition: it is a stop. A blockage. A constipation. The airport is where you can't go anywhere else. A nonplace in which time does not pass and there is no hope of any meaningful existence. A terminus: the end. The airport offers nothing to any human being except access to the interval between planes.It was Sita Dulip of Cincinnati who first realised this, and so discovered the interplanar technique most of us now use.Her connecting flight from Chicago to Denver had been delayed by some unspeakable, or at any rate untold, m Excerpted from Changing Planes: Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon> </opt>

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this collection of 16 stories (six of which have appeared in magazines or on web sites), speculative fiction master Le Guin (Tales from Earthsea) explores assumptions about our own world. Presented as travelers' tales about different planets (or "planes of existence"), the stories fit well together as a meditation on culture and what it means to be human. Many illustrate the absurdities of human nature-"Great Joy," for instance, looks at the ultimate commercialization of Christmas. Others are darker in tone; several, including "Porridge on Islac" and "Wake Island," explore our technological hubris. Le Guin's writing is deceptively simple, but she's working with deep themes, including the prevalence of violence, the tension between science and nature, and how we need to fight fear and sometimes risk ourselves in order to feel truly alive. A humorous, imaginative, and thoughtful collection; Escher-like illustrations by Eric Beddows contribute to its charm. Highly recommended for literary short story and sf collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/03.]-Devon Thomas, Hass MS&L, Ann Arbor, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Novelist Select