The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week–old or new, bought or received for review consideration (usually unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

Last week brought some books by a couple of excellent authors, but before getting to the latest books, here are last week’s reviews in case you missed either of them:

Now, the latest books…

The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle

The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle

This short story collection from Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Peter S. Beagle will be released on November 7 (trade paperback). Each story has a brief introduction by the author, and the book includes two stories about Schmendrick from The Last Unicorn, including one that has not been published before titled “Schmendrick Alone,” and a story set in the same world as The Innkeeper’s SongThe complete table of contents from The Overneath can be viewed on the publisher’s website.


An odd couple patrols a county full of mythological beasts and ornery locals. A familiar youngster from the world of The Last Unicorn is gifted in magic but terrible at spell-casting. A seemingly incorruptible judge meets his match in a mysterious thief who steals his heart. Two old friends discover that the Overneath goes anywhere, including locations better left unvisited.

Lyrical, witty, and insightful, The Overneath is Peter S. Beagle’s much-anticipated return to the short form. In these uniquely beautiful and wholly original tales, with new and uncollected work, Beagle once again proves himself a master of the imagination.

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels and Stories

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels and Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin; edited by Brian Attebery

This two-volume, hardcover boxed set contains award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin’s novels and short stories set in the Hainish universe, which include her Hugo and Nebula Award–winning novels The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. This complete collection contains nearly 2,000 pages, and each volume has an introduction by the author.

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Hainish Novels and Stories will be released on September 5.


For the first time, a deluxe collector’s edition of the pathbreaking novels and stories that reinvented science fiction, with new introductions by the author.

In such visionary masterworks as the Nebula and Hugo Award winners The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin redrew the map of modern science fiction, imagining a galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain, an array of worlds whose divergent societies—the result of both evolution and genetic engineering—allow her to speculate on what is intrinsic in human nature. Now, for the first time, the complete Hainish novels and stories are collected in a deluxe two-volume Library of America boxed set, with new introductions by the author.

Voiume one gathers the first five Hainish novels: Rocannon’s World, in which an ethnologist sent to a bronze-age planet must help defeat an intergalactic enemy; Planet of Exile, the story of human colonists stranded on a planet that is slowly killing them; City of Illusions, which finds a future Earth ruled by the mysterious Shing; and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning masterpieces The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed—as well as four short stories.

Volume two presents Le Guin’s final two Hainish novels, The Word for World Is Forest, in which Earth enslaves another planet to strip its natural resources, and The Telling, the harrowing story of a society which has suppressed its own cultural heritage. Rounding out the volume are seven short stories and the story suite Five Ways to Forgiveness, published here in full for the first time.

The endpapers feature Le Guin’s own hand-drawn map of Gethen, the planet that is the setting for The Left Hand of Darkness, and a full-color chart of the known worlds of Hainish descent.

Additional Book(s):