Changing Planes

In Sita Dulip’s Method, a bored traveler, a friend of the narrator, discovers that if she sits on her uncomfortable airport chair with just the right amount of discomfort, indigestion and crying babies, she can change planes – not airplanes, but planes of existence.

Each of the linked stories that follows recounts a trip by the narrator or someone of her acquaintance to a different plane. The Silence of the Asonu describes a world where the people speak only half a dozen words in any given year. And The Ire of the Veksi visits a plane where all the natives are angry virtually all of the time. Great Joy features an entire world devoted to the commercial side of various holidays, with lots of great shopping in quaint little towns like O Little Town and Yuleville.

Far better than Gulliver’s Travels, which I always thought overrated, the stories are all allegorical; the planes are metaphors of our own.

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2 Responses to “Changing Planes”

  1. Ah! Thanks for this. Based on a recommendation, I’d recently read this short story by Le Guin titled ‘The ones who walk away from Omelas’. A fine story- definitely allegorical, and have since been seeking more of her works.

  2. @ Niranjan: The ones who walk away from Omelas is definitely the one that stuck with me for an inordinately long time. it’s one of her most devastating propositions – whether the happiness of the whole can be – should be allowed to be – dependent on the misery of one. the other one that crops up in most anthologies is the one called The Immortals… or is it the Island of Immortals.
    Ursula is amazing.

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