A book that changed SF. Ursula at the height of her powers. She peaked in the '60s and then just stayed perfect for decades.
A human envoy is sent to make contact on a frozen planet where permanent gender does not exist. Perfectly realized and perfectly paced.
I picked this up because I couldn't resist the series title - THE MURDERBOT DIARIES. It promised campy SF action and fun, and that's what it delivers, but it also features the most human cyborg I've ever read about. Open this novella and read the first paragraph. You'll love it.
The first story in this collection is 7 pages long. Pick up this book, take it to the couch downstairs, and read that story.
Vivid, fast-paced, and bleak, it's a good example of James Tiptree Jr.'s work, the best stories of which are collected in this anthology.