Rather than sit and listen in bewilderment to the incomprehensible announcements of the airport loudspeakers, she discovers a method that allows her to defy the queues at the counters, the uncomfortable meals, the cries of children and parents, the uncomfortable plastic chairs bolted to the floor: instead of changing flights, she changes dimensions.
And there Sita encounters societies quite different from earthly ones. As her method, now bearing her name, spreads, Sita and her fellow travellers will experience cultures where people, when they come of age, are plunged into silence, where anger and rage are the foundation of every personality, where there are cities whose sole purpose is frenzied consumption.
These responses, delivered with satire and reflection by Le Guin, are a modern version of Gulliver’s Travels and reveal uncomfortable truths about our own human society. With her familiar, insightful and playful writing, Le Guin again addresses the issues that have been of enduring concern to her: feminism, tyranny, mortality and immortality, and ultimately the meaning – and mystery – of human existence. In 2004 she was awarded the Locus for best collection.