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The Found & the Lost discussion > "Old Music And The Slave Women" by Ursula K. Le Guin

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 10, 2018 06:33PM) (new)

This is our discussion of the short story....

" Old Music And The Slave Women " by Ursula K. Le Guin

(Originally published 1999. Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction)

From the anthology The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin by Ursula K. Le Guin. See The Found and the Lost anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.

message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 2516 comments I wasn't looking forward to yet another story based on Werel but then I read the first paragraph:

"It had taken a civil war and three years to bore him, but he got to the point where he referred to himself in ansible reports to the Stabiles on Hain as the embassy's chief stupidity officer"

I decided it worth giving it a read after all.

message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2018 07:17PM) (new)

This is the final of the Werel/Yeowe stories which comprise Five Ways to Forgiveness*, and I found it the saddest and most depressing of the lot. The Ekumen's embassy's intelligence officer, who we met in passing in "A Man Of The People," becomes the central character as his efforts to contact Werel's rebels gets him stuck more deeply in the conflict than he anticipated. On the way he meets a slave (asset), and learns a few things about life on Werel.
"Neither anger nor hope served any purpose."
That describes a depressing situation.

Unlike the other Werel/Yeowe stories in the collection, this one doesn't really point a path to anything but despair.

(*The story of the five not in this collection, "Betrayals", is a novelette, not a novella; such are the limits of collections defined by word count.)

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