Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were – that was forgotten.
Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down …
Non-Stop is the classic SF novel of discovery and exploration; a brilliant evocation of a familiar setting seen through the eyes of a primitive.
Wholly Smokes was the last book completed by one of the most original, brilliant and under-rated American writers of the 20th century. Like so many of John Sladek’s earlier books, this is almost impossible to categorize. It’s the non-fiction or non-fact history of General Snuff and Tobacco, a very American tobacco company which seems to have been present at, or had bizarre influence on, many great and not-so-great moments of history.
John Sladek provides his own indescribable clip-art illustrations. As he says in the Introduction:
“The story of GST is also the story of the Badcock family, who owned and operated the company throughout its magnificent history. This book follows that history, stopping to explore a few of its more dazzling events. You will meet the Badcock who kidnapped Pocahontas, the Badcock
who burned London, the Badcock who started the American Revolution, the Badcock who almost killed a president, the Badcock who delivered the real Gettysburg address, the Badcock who wanted to prolong World War One (because he was doing so well out of it), the Badcock who tried to bribe Roosevelt, the Badcock who tried to kill Fidel Castro, and many others . . .”
‘By turns sharp, funny and insightful, high-minded but never mean-spirited, the book embodies its author’s lifelong quest for freedom: freedom as a woman, freedom to write what she pleased, freedom to like what she liked. Genre fiction – and literature in general – has lost not just one of its brightest exponents but one of its bolshiest champions.’ FINANCIAL TIMES
‘Le Guin is one of the singular speculative voices of our future, thanks to her knack for anticipating issues of seminal importance to society’ TLS
Ursula K. Le Guin has won or been nominated for over 200 awards for her fiction, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master Awards. She is the acclaimed author of the Earthsea sequence and The Left Hand of Darkness – which alone would qualify her for literary immortality – as well as a remarkable body of short fiction, including the powerful, Hugo-winning ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ and the masterpiece of anthropological and environmental SF ‘The Word for World is Forest’ – winner of the Hugo Award for best novella.
But Ursula Le Guin’s talents do not stop at fiction. Over the course of her extraordinary career, she has penned numerous essays around themes important to her: anthropology, environmentalism, feminism, social justice and literary criticism to name a few. She has responded in detail to criticism of her own work and even reassessed that work in the context of such critiques. This selection of the best of Le Guin’s non-fiction shows an agile mind, an unparalleled imagination and a ferocious passion to argue against injustice.
In 2014 Ursula Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and her widely praised acceptance speech is one of the highlights of this volume, which shows that one of modern literature’s most original voices is also one of its purest consciences.