"Inventing a universe is tough work," confesses Ursula Le Guin in the Foreword to this collection of short stories. Reading about it can be quite tough too, as I found out the first time I started the book. I failed to get past page four, such was my inability to get to grips with Sov Thade Tage em Ereb's explanation about Sedern Geger, the Harges, and Argaven. The visual bombardment of strange words of unknown pronunciation put me off and served to increase my belief that sci-fi stories of weird planets, aliens and space ships were not for me.
But I like short stories and I enjoy speculative fiction, especially by female writers, so I tried again.