Beautiful language and attention to detail; interesting ideas chewed on a tad too much for my taste. I'm shocked that I haven't read any Le Guin before, and will look for more now. Wondering why her books weren't on the shelves at the library back when I read straight across the sci-fi rows, hmmmm. The idea of sexual fluidity is more-common now, so I wasn't as surprised or focused on it as the reviewers of the time seemed to be. What stood out to me was the pages Le Guin gave to scenes that weren't action scenes -- yet the pacing didn't flag -- and the short shrift she gave to an amazing athletic challenge; nice to focus on the friendship and not the action for once.