Always Coming Home

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Le Guin, Ursula K. Always Coming Home. New York: Harper, 1985. New York: Bantam, 1986. Todd Barton, composer. Margaret Chodos, illus. George Hersh, geomancer. Maps by UKL.

See esp. the three parts of Stone Telling's story, the Category on Time and the City (with careful attention to "The City," and "A Hole in the Air"), and, at The Back of the Book, the Categorys "About the Train" and "The Metaphor: The Machine" under "Some Generative Metaphors." In the hypothetical, fairly-far future world of ACH, there are many sites for "computers with mechanical extensions. . . . [forming] the City of Mind." The machines gather and exchange information and explore both the planet and space; the machines interact with humans and allow humans to interact through "the Exchange": to most people "a useful and necessary link to . . . [a number of] necessary and undesirable elements of existence" (Bantam edn. 156-59). The City of Mind correlates with "the City of Man," or "Civilization as we know it" (160). In ACH, sane human people eschew such civilization and cities and choose to live in low-tech villages.