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The Wind's Twelve Quarters

(Hainish Cycle)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  3,772 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
Wizardry, transforming its master into a cloud of fine mist...cloning, duplicating the ideal man ten times over...Utopia, in a city where almost everyone is perfectly happy...

Ursula Le Guin, author of The Earthsea Trilogy, has a special way of blending stirring adventure with fantasy that has made comparison with such masters as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien inevitable.

Mass Market Paperback, 277 pages
Published October 1976 by Bantam (first published 1975)
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Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection of stories is a chronological assortment of published work during the first ten years of Le Guin in publication; it is hard to believe she wasn't published until 32, but her enormous talent makes one feel like all those years leading up to the first story were spent in a literary chrysalis. Le Guin is a master author, and whether or not sci-fi is a reader's preferred genre, her works are important enough to be read by lovers of the written word.

Many of the stories in this collect
Jr Bacdayan
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories 'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas' and 'The Day Before the Revolution' elevate this collection of what is already an impeccable achievement of intelligent imagination, to a work of immense wisdom.
Hazal Çamur
Kitap için yorum yapmayacağım. Çünkü elimde daha iyisi var. Size tek bir soru soracağım ve sorunun cevabını yine ben vereceğim.

Neden bu kitabı okumalısınız?

1. Rocannon'un Dünyası'nı okuduysanız, onun öncesinde geçen ve bu kitapta yer alan Semley'in Kolyesi hikayesini görmek isteyebilirsiniz.

2. Karanlığın Sol Eli'ne aşık olduysanız, bu muazzam eserin temelleri olan Kış Kralı'nı bu kitapta okuyabilirsiniz. Sonrasında bu hikayenin nasıl Karanlığın Sol Eli'ne dönüştüğünü varın siz düşünün.

3. Mülksüz
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of short (especially speculative) fiction
The 17 stories collected here all appeared (in a couple of cases, under different titles) in various magazines, mostly geared to SF or speculative fiction, from 1960 to 1974. So chronologically, they directly precede those in the later collection The Compass Rose (which I reviewed last week), and if memory serves, I also read this book first. It's a similar mix of genres, but overall, I considered the quality of most the selections here somewhat superior to that of the other book. It also has pr ...more
Reto #27 PopSugar 2018: Un libro ambientado en otro planeta
A pesar de que Ursula K. Le Guin es una de mis escritoras favoritas de ciencia ficción, los cuentos de esta antología me han dejado más bien fría e imagino que por eso es que he tardado tanto en terminarla.

Creo que se debe a que al ser relatos tan cortos (17 en total para 340 páginas), Le Guin no alcanza a desplegar esa visión sociológica y antropológica que materializa en culturas extraterrestres y que permite reflexionar, a su vez, s
Unlike Four Ways to Forgiveness, this is an uneven collection, a mixed bag of Le Guin's early short stories.

My favorite are definitely the sci-fi stories: from Hainish cycle - Winter's King (a prequel to The Left Hand of Darkness), The Day Before the Revolution (a prequel to The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia), Vaster than Empires and More Slow (humans try to communicate with a different type of intelligence, reminiscent of Solaris); and independent - Nine Lives (about cloning) and The Field
Procrastinating Slytherin
There are stars in the earth, he thought, if one knew how to see them.

How can one come up with worlds so diverse and so convincing, when one must unfold their story in such short space and time?

Reading Ursula K. Le Guin post mortem –for the first time, mind you- was a rather interesting and emotionally diverse experience for a variety of reasons.

I was rather skeptical at first: I am not particularly familiar with short stories (Poe’s excluded) and The Wind’s Twelve Quarters was entrusted to me
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read one other Ursula Le Guin book (The Left Hand of Darkness, which I loved for making me think so hard), so it was a treat to get a range of her short stories. Collections like these aren't necessarily an author's greatest hits. But after reading The Wind's Twelve Quarters, I feel like I know Le Guin much better and consequently, got a good insight in her creative process. I now conclude that Le Guin is an awesome, awesome lady. I would love to have a drink with her. She's just so sm ...more
Peter Tillman
Her first collection (1975). Currently rereading ( 9/18/17). Opens with "Semley's Necklace", one of her 2 best shorts.

Very nice cover art, uncredited, probably by Pauline Ellison:
Apr 04, 2016 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Le Guin's first short story collection, which includes:

Semley's Necklace: A Story
April in Paris
The Masters: A Story
Darkness Box
The Word of Unbinding - 4/5 - OK on its own as a story of a good wizard who is imprisoned by a powerful evil wizard, but most readers will find it primarily interesting as Le Guin's first story in her Earthsea world
The Rule of Names - 5/5 - another early Earthsea story, this one with a clever sense of humor and a strong Tolkien flavor
The Winter's King
The Good Trip: A St

Después de lo mucho que me gustó Mundos de exilio e ilusión, el volumen de tres novelas cortas que la colección Literatura Fantástica de RBA publicó al inicio de su andadura, tenía bastante expectativas depositadas en la lectura de este libro. Las doce moradas del viento es un compendio de diecisiete relatos reunidos en orden cronológico y prologados por Rosa Montero que ofrecen una amplia perspectiva de los fascinantes universos creados por la autora a lo largo de su extensa carrera. Cada
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this overall and quite liked a number of the stories. I didn't particularly like how curated this collection is by Le Guin. Each story has a small introduction from her that I found to be too influential in my reading of the stories. Eventually, I'd read the story first and go back to her comments. But it made the whole collection seem less about the stories and more about the author. I was surprised that two of my favorite stories are set in the Earthsea world, as I really didn't like ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-2018, sf, stories
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 52libros
compilación de 15 historias creo, unas me gustaron bastante otras no tanto, pero como alguien que siempre quizo leer algo de la autora pero estaba demasiado intimidada para hacerlo agradezco que exista esta libro.
This first half of this collection includes some Le Guin's earliest stories and is a nice compilation, but lacks much of the sophistication of her later works, and longer works. Two of the stories included are kind of proto-Earthsea tales that do not necessarily jive with the Earthsea material, but they still offer fascinating glimpses at the process of world-building and storytelling. Two are also prequels to a couple of the Hainish Cycle novels, and are interesting on the own as vignettes of t ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book like you leave a welcoming country, hoping to get back some day.
Javier Maldonado
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Un imprescindible de Le Guin, bueno, como prácticamente todo lo que ella escribe.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
The Wind's Twelve Quarters is a wonderful example of Le Guin's early work in short fiction. This is the first Le Guin I've read besides Catwings so it was exciting to try her "serious" science fiction and fantasy and I was not disappointed by the collection. Her style is engaging and effective and her plots are well-crafted and tied closely to her themes. Since the collection is a near-chronological summary of the first ten years of her career in science fiction and fantasy, it is really excitin ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Kukwa
The ultimate Ursula K Le Guin pick-and-mix; full of stories that don't really hold my interest (the medieval, Earthsea-ish stories), and the harder, weirder sci-fi stories I love (particular the Ekumen/Hainish stories). They are all beautifully written, but it definitely draws a solid line between my personal preferences.
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for intelligent yet flawed short stories
I spent a long time looking for this short story collection without even realizing it. The journey began one day when I was trying to remember the title of a story. All I could remember was that the story was about a Utopian society which kept a young child in a dark room because that was the only way to keep the utopia; one had to suffer unbearable loneliness and silence in order for the rest to live in said utopia. If the child was ever freed, the ideal world would crumble and become ruined. I ...more
Kristy Buzbee
Mar 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The Wind's Twelve Quarters is a collection of Ursula K. Le Guin's short stories - an early collection, so they're some of her first stories. There were some clunkers ("A Trip to the Head," for one, and "The Stars Below," for another), but they were nicely counteracted by some really great works like "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas," "Nine Lives," and "Darkness Box." Plus, it includes the two stories that were the first venture into Earthsea (and she notes in the prologue several inconsistenc ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of stories spread out over a substantial range of Le Guin's career. Le Guin's stories are very much focused on the psychological and emotional consequences of distance, travel, and alien-ness. She shares this interest with Samuel R. Delany, another science fiction writer with whom i am more familiar, but i would say her characters are more humble, more likeable, maybe even more human.

The early stories showed their age, being simple of plot and touched with sci-fi cliches. Le
Dalibor Dado Ivanovic
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knjige
Nakon dosta godina sto ova knjiga nije bila dostupna na nasim prostorima, eto netko normalan se nasao da ju objavi i to prosireno izdanje. Ova zbirka prica me vratila u doba kada sam zavolio Ursulu citajuci Zemljomorje, Lijeva ruka tame, Ljudi bez icega...i sad shvacam da ju volim jos, i to puno. Neke kasnije zbirke prica kao Ribar unutrasnjeg mora, Ruza nisu fascinirale i cesto sam se pitao, kako to??? Pa godinama nisam Ursulu ni citao. Ali ova knjiga je predivna, niti jedna prica ...more
Nancy Adams
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm very picky about short stories, usually preferring novels, but this collection is absolutely magical, in every sense of the word. Le Guin's variety of voices and styles is nothing short of amazing, and each of these is a completely realized gem.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of UKL, especially her early work, so this was a real treat. Generally, I found this collection of some of her very first stories a bit rough around the edges at times, though with glimmers of the greatness evident in her best work. As with her work generally, these stories are often metaphors for something deeper, something real and meaningful, often some aspect of society or human relationships. Sometimes it's something buried just beneath surface, sometimes perhaps something n ...more
Tatiana (El Ratón de Alexandria)
Este repaso por la narrativa breve de la gran Ursula K. Le Guin, seleccionada por ella y con prologos para cada uno de los relatos, hace una retrospectiva cronológica que ayuda muy bien a entender de donde viene y hacia donde va su literatura, permite ver tendencias y elementos comunes en sus textos, preocupaciones, esperanzas y deseos sobre el ser humano y la sociedad.

Como en todas las antologías hay textos que me han gustado más y textos que me han gustado menoynvs, y desearía destacar como mi
Mariana Ferreira
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
An overall excellent collection of stories, though some were a bit too experimental for my personal taste. The ones in which Le Guin explores the limits of science and ethics are the most interesting ones, particularly Omelas and the one with the astronomer. I’m glad BTS got me into reading this sooner because of their references to Omelas; now I can’t wait to delve into the author’s other works.
Vicky Collar
En general, me ha resultado una lectura bastante insulsa. Algunos cuentos me han parecido un sinsentido tremendo. Ha habido un par que realmente me han gustado y que además, forman parte de los mundos de otras de sus novelas, por lo que me ha picado el gusanillo para leerlos. Espero que en novela me convenza más que en cuentos.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of Le Guin's short stories spanning from 1962 to 1974. Wow, can she craft a story. I loved this collection, with Le Guin's subtle sense of humor, big heart and strong sense of justice, subversive themes, diverse worlds and characters, and smart sci-fi. I even enjoyed the stories that leaned more fantasy (not usually my jam). Even the commentary she provides before each story was a delight to read. Highly recommend!
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Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more

Other books in the series

Hainish Cycle (10 books)
  • The Dispossessed
  • The Word for World is Forest
  • Rocannon's World
  • Planet of Exile
  • City of Illusions
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #6)
  • Four Ways to Forgiveness
  • The Telling (Hainish Cycle #8)
  • Os Despojados, Vol. 1
  • Инженеры кольца (Ringworld, #2; Hainish Cycle, #6)
“We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the forest, every night, alone.” 78 likes
“Love that wants only to get, to possess, is a monstrous thing” 7 likes
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