The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

I'm a member of a SFF discussion board that while small, is incredibly diverse and erudite, with many members in Europe. The perspectives and their reading lists are jaw-dropping. One of the moderators finally delved into Ursula K. LeGuin prompted, unfortunately, by the Grand Master's sad passing last week. 

The book she chose was A Wizard of Earthsea, wich I call the anti-Harry Potter because performing magic is all about balance and when a wizard goes too far, it  creates unintended consequences. This is HP for thinking people. Ged, the young man who enters the Wizard's school at Gont has much to learn that Harry, Ron and Hermione would never imagine in their craziest mescaline hallucinations. (In a sense, there is an overtone or premonition of Carlos Casteneda's work in the books -- without the drugs). 

I have also found another LeGuin short story that speaks to unintended consequences and hard choices called, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas." It is perhaps the most anthologized of all of LeGuin's short fiction. If I started to describe it I'd ruin it for you, but it is short, easy to read in LeGuin's deceptively smooth prose, and packs a wallop. READ.

Storytelling is about revealing truths big and small. LeGuin mostly shot for the moon (although her delicate series of "Orsininan Tales" or "Searoad" collection are wonderfully and appropriately compact). She may have written a story that you didn't resonate with, but she never wrote a story that wasn't good.