A Fisherman of the Inland Sea

A Fisherman of the Inland Sea is a 1994 collection of short stories and novellas by Ursula K. Le Guin. The collection was second in the 1995 Locus Award poll in the collection category.[1]

A Fisherman of the Inland Sea
First edition
AuthorUrsula K. Le Guin
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
PublisherHarper Prism
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3562.E42 F57 1994


The stories in the collection are:


The Ascent of the North Face

"The Ascent of the North Face" is a storey written by American Author Ursula LeGuin. The storey is mock heroic in character.[2] Told in the style of Victorian Boys Own Ripping Yarns, the joke is in the fact the north face is not of some Himalayan mountain being scaled by westerners but Indian climbers and that the north face refers to the north face of a suburban house in Portland Oregon near where Le Guin lived.

The First Contact with the Gorgonids

The First Contact with the Gorgonids is a running joke within Le Guins work. The stand-alone story is set in present-day Australia, and depicts an arrogant but stupid American male and his down trodden wife. This strongly feminist story has the couple make contact with aliens who the husband mistakes for Australian Aboriginals. The resulting farce sees the husband put in his place and for the triumphant wife the spoils of the encounter.

Shobies Story

The Shobies' Story follows the protagonists of the first successful jump to a planet using Churten theory. Who discover that their experience and memories of the planet are radically different. This matters because Churten theory is more philosophical than scientific. The dissonance between their perceptions of the planets creates massive existential rifts in the fabric of space and time. The story tells of the protagonist attempt to reconcile their perceptions of what happened and mend the rift.

Dancing to Ganam

Dancing to Ganam is a story written by American Author Ursula LeGuin in 1993. The story is part of her Hainish Cycle books, and forms a sequel to The Shobies' Story of the same series.

Two Humans (Shan and Tai) from a far future Earth, have arrived on the (fictional) planet Hain, heroes due to their being crew members of the first faster-than-light space flight, depicted in The Shobies' Story. [3] When they arrive, another Earth Human called Dalzul has also arrived. Dalzul is charismatic and diplomatic and known for having saved thousands of children. He has just flown the same faster than light technology to a new planet but without the “distortions” of reality found in the Shobies Story. When he arrived he found a planet called Ganam, an isolated world inhabited by pre-industrial humans.

Dalzul suggests that they join him on a return flight, Tai declines and Shan accepts. He suggests that during the flight they sing together to synchronize their perceptions of the flight, and this strategy seems to be successful. When they arrive they are honored and Dalzul is treated as a god-king. The longer they stay on the planet however, the more the crew find dissonances in reality causing confusion and uncertainty.

Dalzul, is treated as a god and is taken to a ceremony he perceives to be a coronation but at which he is a sacrifice. It turns out that although their flight was successfully without distortions in the perception that plagued the Shobbies flight, Dalzul's ego had shaped his perception of Ganam culture away from reality.

Another Story

Another Story also known as A fisherman of the Inland Sea is a story written by American Author Ursula LeGuin in 1994. The story is part of her Hainish Cycle books, and titular story of the volume.

The plot follows a scientist from the (fictional) a planet O who turns his back on the quiet rural life of his planet to join in the development of a faster than light technology called Churten Theory.[4] To do this he leaves for another planet called Hain, a journey that will take a long time and as a result he must say good bye to everyone and everything he has ever known.

When he arrives there is a message waiting for him which he does not read because it is too garbled. Gripped with a great remorse for what he has left he pours himself into his work and manages to make a massive leap in the understanding of Churten theory, but which unintentionally transports him back to the time and place that he left his home. There he re-establishes his life and relationships that he left behind and lives out his life in his home world. Many years in the future, on the day he would arrive in Hain he sends a message to himself, the garbled message he himself received so many years ago. That message is the story of his life and is the in fact the content of the story we are reading itself.


  1. ^ 1995 Locus Awards Archived November 20, 2005, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 23, 2006
  2. ^ Richard Erlrich, Study Guide for the Stories Collected in Ursula K. Le Guin's Fisherman Of The Inland Sea, p84.
  3. ^ A book review by Danny Yee © 1995 Danny Yee's Book Reviews].
  4. ^ A book review by Danny Yee 1995 Danny Yee's Book Reviews.
  • Bernardo, Susan M.; Murphy, Graham J. (2006). Ursula K. Le Guin: A Critical Companion (1st ed.). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33225-8.
  • Cadden, Mike (2005). Ursula K. Le Guin Beyond Genre: Fiction for Children and Adults (1st ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-99527-2.
  • Le Guin, Ursula (1994). A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (1st ed.). Harper Prism. ISBN 0-06-105200-0.
  • Le Guin, Ursula (2010). Pêcheur de la mer Intérieure. Editions Souffle du Rêve. ISBN 978-2-918056-07-2.

An ansible is a category of fictional device or technology capable of near-instantaneous or superluminal communication. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance or obstacle whatsoever with no delay, even between star systems. As a name for such a device, the word "ansible" first appeared in a 1966 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. Since that time, the term has been broadly used in the works of numerous science fiction authors, across a variety of settings and continuities.


Catwings is a series of four American children's picture books written by Ursula K. Le Guin, illustrated by S. D. Schindler, and originally published by Scholastic from 1988 to 1999. It follows the adventures of kittens who were born with wings. Catwings is also the title of the first book in the series. The series is in print from Scholastic as of August 2015.In Britain the series was published in two omnibus volumes as Tales of Catwings and More Tales of the Catwings (Puffin/Penguin, 1999 and 2000). In America the 2003 editions were available in a boxed set of four with slipcase title The Catwings Collection (Orchard/Scholastic), listed as Catwings Set by Powell's Books.Scholastic classifies the Catwings books as fantasy and classifies the first two by "interest level" as "grades 2–5", the last two as "grades preK–3" (children of ages about 7–11 and 4–9 respectively). The series is covered by the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, which classifies the volumes as short fiction and as chapbooks.Scholastic Book Guides, a series for schoolteachers, includes one Catwings volume.In 2002 and 2003 as Catwings 5 and Catwings 6, Le Guin published online editions of picture books "by Mrs. Katz's First Grade Class".Ten years after their last Catwings volume, Le Guin and Schindler created another picture book featuring a cat: Cat Dreams (Orchard/Scholastic, 2009), with "easy rhyming text" and "realistic, full-bleed watercolor illustrations".


Gethen, also called Winter, is a fictional planet in Ursula K. Le Guin's Ekumen universe. It is the setting for her science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness.

Hainish Cycle

The Hainish Cycle consists of a number of science fiction novels and stories by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is set in an alternate history/future history in which civilizations of human beings on planets orbiting a number of nearby stars, including Terra (Earth), are contacting each other for the first time and establishing diplomatic relations, setting up a confederacy under the guidance of the oldest of the human worlds, peaceful Hain. In this history, human beings did not evolve on Earth but were the result of interstellar colonies planted by Hain long ago, which was followed by a long period when interstellar travel ceased. Some of the races have new genetic traits, a result of ancient Hainish experiments in genetic engineering, including people who can dream while awake, and a world of androgynous people who only come into active sexuality once a month, not knowing which sex will manifest in them. In keeping with Le Guin's style, she uses varied social and environmental settings to explore the anthropological and sociological outcomes of human evolution in those diverse environments.

The Hainish novels The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed (1974) have won literary awards, as have the novella The Word for World Is Forest (1972) and the short story "The Day Before the Revolution" (1974).

Le Guin herself discounted the idea of a "Hainish Cycle", writing on her website that "The thing is, they aren't a cycle or a saga. They do not form a coherent history. There are some clear connections among them, yes, but also some extremely murky ones."

List of James Tiptree Jr. Award winners

The following is a list of winners and shortlisted works of the James Tiptree Jr. Award, an annual literary prize for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore one's understanding of gender. It was initiated in February 1991 by science fiction authors Pat Murphy and Karen Joy Fowler, and is awarded and discussed yearly at WisCon.

Winning titles are marked by a blue background.

Planets of the Hainish Cycle

Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish Cycle takes place in a science fiction universe that contains a number of planets, some of which have been explored and made part of an interplanetary group called the League of All Worlds and its successor, the Ekumen; others are explored and re-explored by the League and the Ekumen over a time frame spanning centuries. Le Guin has used approximately a dozen planets as primary settings for her novels; as such they have detailed physical and cultural descriptions. Le Guin reveals in The Left Hand of Darkness that at that narrative-time, there were 83 planets in the Ekumen, with Gethen a candidate for the 84th.

The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century

The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century is an anthology of science fiction time travel short stories edited by Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg. It was first published in trade paperback by Del Rey/Ballantine in January 2005.The book collects eighteen novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, together with an introduction and three sectional introductions by Turteldove.

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories is a collection of short fiction by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, first published in March, 2002 by HarperCollins. All of the stories, except "Paradises Lost", were previously published individually elsewhere.

The collection was also published in London by Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Group, in 2003. A softcover edition was published by Perennial in 2003.

The Shobies' Story

"The Shobies' Story" is a 1990 science fiction novella by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, describing the story of the first human crew to participate in a newly invented faster-than-light mode of space travel. It was first published in the anthology Universe 1 and subsequently appeared in A Fisherman of the Inland Sea published by Harper Prism in 1994.

The crew forms a miniature society in which each member must participate in creating a cohesive group narrative to alter the nature of reality, which causes the travel. "The Shobies' Story" is notable because Le Guin replaces the traditional militaristic and hierarchical chain of command used in traditional space travel with voluntary consensus."The Shobies' Story" was nominated for a Nebula Award in the novelette category in 1991.

Theodore Sturgeon Award

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the short fiction counterpart of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of Theodore Sturgeon, one of the leading authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction from 1939 to 1950. The award was established in 1987 by his heirs—including his widow, Jayne Sturgeon—and James Gunn, at the time the Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction.From 1987 through 1994 the award was given out by a panel of science fiction experts led by Orson Scott Card. Beginning in 1995, the committee was replaced by a group of jurors, who vote on the nominations submitted for consideration. The initial jurors were James Gunn, Frederik Pohl, and Judith Merril. Merril was replaced on the jury by former winner Kij Johnson in 1997, one of Sturgeon's children—Noel Sturgeon in most years—was added to the panel in 1999, and George Zebrowski was added to the panel in 2005. Nominations are submitted by reviewers, fans, publishers, and editors, and are collated by the current Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, Christopher McKitterick, into a list of finalists to be voted on by the jury. The maximum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Campbell Award. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. Since 2004 winners have received a personalized trophy, while since the inception of the award a permanent trophy has recorded all of the winners.During the 32 years the award has been active, 188 authors have had works nominated, 33 of whom have won, including one tie. No author has won more than once. John Kessel and Michael Swanwick have each won once out of seven nominations, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nancy Kress, and Ian McDonald one of six, Ted Chiang one of five, and Paolo Bacigalupi and Lucius Shepard have won once out of four times. Robert Reed has the most nominations without winning at eight, followed by James Patrick Kelly and Ian R. MacLeod at seven, and Greg Egan, Ken Liu,and Bruce Sterling at five.

Urashima Tarō

Urashima Tarō (浦島 太郎) is the protagonist of a Japanese fairy tale (otogi banashi), who in a typical modern version is a fisherman who is rewarded for rescuing a turtle, and carried on its back to the Dragon Palace (Ryūgū-jō) which lies beneath the sea. There he is entertained by the princess Otohime as reward. He spends what he believes to be 4 or 5 days, but upon his return to his home village, he finds himself 300 years in the future. When he opens the box (tamatebako) he was told never to open, he turns into an old man.

The tale originates from the legend of Urashimako (Urashima no ko or Ura no Shimako) recorded in various pieces of literature dating to the 8th century, such as the Fudoki for Tango Province, Nihon Shoki, and the Man'yōshū.

During the Muromachi to Edo periods, versions of Urashima Tarō appeared in storybook form called the Otogizōshi, made into finely painted picture scrolls and picture books or mass-printed copies. These texts vary considerably, and in some, the story ends with Urashima Tarō transforming into a crane.

Some iconic elements in the modern version are relatively recent. The portrayal of him riding a turtle dates only to the early 18th century, and while he is carried underwater to the Dragon Palace in modern tellings, he rides a boat to the princess's world called Hōrai in older versions.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American novelist. She worked mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction, and authored children's books, short stories, poetry, and essays. Her writing was first published in the 1960s and often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, the natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality, and ethnography. In 2016, The New York Times described her as "America's greatest living science fiction writer", although she said that she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist".She influenced Booker Prize winners and other writers, such as Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell, and science fiction and fantasy writers including Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2003, she was made a Grandmaster of Science Fiction, one of a few women writers to take the top honor in the genre.

Ursula K. Le Guin bibliography

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author of speculative fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, librettos, essays, poetry, speeches, translations, literary critiques, chapbooks, and children's fiction. She was primarily known for her works of speculative fiction. These include works set in the fictional world of Earthsea, stories in the Hainish Cycle, standalone novels and short stories. Though frequently referred to as an author of science fiction, critics have described her work as being difficult to classify.Le Guin came to critical attention with the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968, and The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969. The Earthsea books, of which A Wizard of Earthsea was the first, have been described as Le Guin's best work by several commentators, while scholar Charlotte Spivack described The Left Hand of Darkness as having established Le Guin's reputation as a writer of science fiction. Literary critic Harold Bloom referred to the books as Le Guin's masterpieces. Several scholars have called the Earthsea books Le Guin's best work. Her work has received intense critical attention. As of 1999, ten volumes of literary criticism and forty dissertations had been written about her work: she was referred to by scholar Donna White as a "major figure in American letters". Her awards include the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards. Feminist critiques of her writing were particularly influential upon Le Guin's later work.Le Guin's first published work was the poem "Folksong from the Montayna Province" in 1959, while her first short story was "An die Musik", in 1961; both were set in her fictional country of Orsinia. Her first professional publication was the short story "April in Paris" in 1962, while her first published novel was Rocannon's World, released by Ace Books in 1966. Her last publication was a 2018 collection of non-fiction, titled Dreams Must Explain Themselves and Other Essays 1972–2004. This bibliography includes all of Le Guin's published novels, short fiction, translations, edited volumes, and all collections that include material not previously published in book form, as well as any works mentioned in commentary about Le Guin's writings.

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