Ursula K. Le Guin has a brand new reason to be scared of immortality

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You probably already think you know why immortality is a bad idea — after all, Torchwood just got done showing us, and there's a whole complicated computer model of why immortality would suck. But trust Ursula K. Le Guin to make immortality seem terrifying all over again.

Top image: The Day We Left Earth by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Over at Lightspeed Magazine, there's a reprint of a great Le Guin story that I hadn't read before, about a whole island of immortals. And no matter what you think is going on, the end of the story will probably still mess with you. Here's how it begins:

Somebody asked me if I'd heard that there were immortal people on the Yendian Plane, and somebody else told me that there were, so when I got there, I asked about them. The travel agent rather reluctantly showed me a place called the Island of the Immortals on her map. "You don't want to go there," she said.

"I don't?"

"Well, it's dangerous," she said, looking at me as if she thought I was not the danger-loving type, in which she was entirely correct. She was a rather unpolished local agent, not an employee of the Interplanary Service. Yendi is not a popular destination. In many ways it's so like our own plane that it seems hardly worth the trouble of visiting. There are differences, but they're subtle.

"Why is it called the Island of the Immortals?"

"Because some of the people there are immortal."

Read the rest over at Lightspeed.