Ursula K Le Guin (1929 - 2018)

BroloBrolo BroseidonLord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
(CNN)Fantasy novelist Ursula K. Le Guin died Monday afternoon in her Portland, Oregon, home, her son Theo Downes-Le Guin said. She was 88.

"It was unexpected at that moment," Downes-Le Guin said. "Her health had not been great."
The acclaimed author penned everything from short stories to children's books, but was best known for her work in the science fiction and fantasy realm.
She won numerous Hugo awards, science fiction's most prestigious honor, for titles including "The Left Hand of Darkness," "The Dispossessed," and "The Word for World is Forest."
She had lived in Portland for almost 60 years and had lived in the same house for the past 36 years.


Hey, let's talk about this rad lady and her books. The Left Hand of Darkness really helped me challenge gender issues, and remains one of my favorite books.


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    I needed anime to post.I needed anime to post. boom Registered User regular
    edited January 2018
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    miscellaneousinsanitymiscellaneousinsanity grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, i hurt peopleRegistered User regular

    i loved the earthsea books, the first one and the farthest shore were my favorite, and now i need to read them again

    (and they still have not received an adaptation that does them any justice)

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    CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    Somehow I thought she'd died years ago.

    I just re-read A Wizard of Earthsea. I should finish the trilogy; I was too young to appreciate them properly the first time around.

    The Left Hand of Darkness didn't "work" for me, and I'm not sure why. Aside from the oddness of constantly reminding myself that the Gethen characters were genderless most of the time (I kept absently thinking of them as male), I couldn't really see how the book was an exploration of gender themes specifically... maybe because I couldn't sort it out from the general alien-ness of Gethen itself? Or maybe I just wasn't reading it deeply enough.

    I know that's my failing, not Le Guin's. It's weird and a little frustrating.

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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    God I love everything she wrote

    This will be the year of Le Guin rereads I think

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    Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    the only book of hers I've actually read is A Wizard of Earthsea, but I do love that book

    I bought a copy of The Dispossessed at a used book store recently, I should get on that

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    ButlerButler 89 episodes or bust Registered User regular
    Vaster Than Empires And More Slow - 1970 Hugo nominee

    The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas - 1974 Hugo winner

    The Day Before the Revolution - 1975 Hugo nominee, Nebula winner

    Sur - 1983 Hugo nominee

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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2018
    Reading A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the few memories I have from my childhood.

    R.I.P. Ursula. You taught me to always keep looking for my true name.

    For those who are unfamiliar with her non-Earthsea work, here's one of her best short stories: https://www.utilitarianism.com/nu/omelas.pdf

    Inquisitor77 on
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    AnzekayAnzekay Registered User regular
    edited January 2018
    I wept a little bit at this news, then read my favourite chapter from A Wizard of Earthsea to cheer myself up.

    Anzekay on
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    DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) What's up, bootlickers?Registered User regular
    I've been looking for some decent fiction, and I've never read this lady's work before

    looks like I know what to get

    she was also an anarchist, if I heard correctly, and I need me some good fantasy books from an anarchist

    Miss me? Find me on:

    Twitch (I stream most days of the week)
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    AnzekayAnzekay Registered User regular
    Starting with the Earthsea Quartet and The Left Hand of Darkness is typically the right way to go. You'll know by the end of just one book if you want to read literally everything she wrote or not.

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    Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    edited January 2018
    The Earthsea Quartet was my first grown-up experience of fantasy and arguably kick-started my love of fantasy fiction. The Dispossessed was also a favourite of mine. And everything I've heard or read about Ursula made her sound like a badass.

    Brovid Hasselsmof on
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    Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    @Dubh The Dispossessed definitely has anarchist themes and is very good.

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    AnzekayAnzekay Registered User regular
    Yeah this is the foreword she wrote for one of her short stories, The Day Before The Revolution (Butler linked it above)

    My novel The Dispossessed is about a small worldful of people who call themselves Odonians. The name is taken from the founder of their society, Odo, who lived several generations before the time of the novel, and who therefore doesn’t get into the action — except implicitly, in that all the action started with her.

    Odonianism is anarchism. Not the bomb-in-the-pocket stuff, which is terrorism, whatever name it tries to dignify itself with; not the social-Darwinist economic “libertarianism” of the far right; but anarchism. as prefigured in early Taoist thought, and expounded by Shelley and Kropotkin, Goldman and Goodman. Anarchism’s principal target is the authoritarian State (capitalist or socialist); its principal moral-practical theme is cooperation (solidarity, mutual aid). It is the most idealistic, and to me the most interesting, of all political theories.

    To embody it in a novel, which had not been done before, was a long and hard job for me, and absorbed me totally for many months. When it was done I felt lost exiled — a displaced person. I was very grateful, therefore, when Odo came out of the shadows and across the gulf of Probability, and wanted a story written, not about the world she made, but about herself.

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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2018
    For her eightieth birthday China Mieville talked to her and about her in this half-hour BBC radio show: no idea if damned foreigners can listen.


    Bogart on
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    BilliardballBilliardball Registered User regular
    A Wizard of Earthsea was probably the first fantasy novel I ever read. Might have been the second actual novel full stop, after The Call of the Wild.

    It's the earliest one I remember reading anyway.

    (They had us pick from a pile in English Literature in year 7 and I almost missed out on this one, as there were only a few and when more people put their hands up than there were books I was a little slow. The look on my face must have been miserable (I was very much a baby at the time) because someone passed me their copy.)

    It's not my proudest moment, but the book was worth the embarrassment. It got me hooked on fantasy and led me to the school library to read in my own time in my formative years. I probably wouldn't be the person I am today without Ursula Le Guin.

    Switch: SW-7948-4390-2014 / 3DS: 0688-5244-6057 / FF14: Salus Claro
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