SF/F Legend Ursula K. Le Guin, Rest in Peace


#1

The SF/F field has lost a guiding star.

Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea was one of the first fantasy novels I ever read, and my view of the genre has always reflected that - with society and culture front and center.

In recent years, I’ve been taking her challenge from the National Book Awards to heart - the call to imagine a world beyond capitalism, to not take the status quo as given and inevitable.


#2

I know what I’m going to be rereading in the next few weeks. RIP.


#3

I unfortunately can’t say I’ve read anything by her, and looking through her obituary, I now see the mistake I have made all this time. As such, I just picked up The Left Hand of Darkness and can’t wait to dive into it.

RIP Ursula

EDIT: Oh, I totally forgot that she was the author of “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” I read that story a few years ago in an Intro to Ethics class, and that bit of prose was hugely influential on me and my approach to my field of study.


#4

Le Guin’s work was that rare kind that could evoke nostalgia for places I had never been. The snowy streets of Karhide and valleys of Gont feel more like places I visited as a young child than works of fiction.


#5

RIP


Read the Earthsea trilogy many times as kid, still remember the cool cover on the paperback.


#6

i have so much respect for ursula leguin and her novels. i’ll miss her a great deal. rest in peace


#7

I read The Left Hand of Darkness in college for my science fiction lit class, it’s a fantastic book, enjoy it!


#8

More than any other piece of adolescent fiction The Farthest Shore really confronts the reader with an existential head trip. I read it in high school and its plot and themes have stuck with me for far longer than many works of “adult” or “literary” fiction. That reaction might also come from the fact that it was one of the first books to artfully posit the idea that humans’ ability to create is born from our awareness of death, and if we lost that artistic creation would be meaningless.

It’s also a shame that we never got a good film adaptation of her work. The Ghibli Earthsea movie is easily their weakest feature, and it seems like nothing else will come from it. One of the great unmade movies was an adaptation of Wizard of Earthse written and directed by Michael Powell (The Red Shoes, Peeping Tom) and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. What a trip that would’ve been.


#9

I read The Left Hand of Darkness a couple of years ago and it just floored me. Even her introduction to that book, on the nature of science-fiction and novel writing, is still one of my favorite short essays by any writer on any subject ever. Here it is if any of y’all are interested: http://theliterarylink.com/leguinintro.html

Rest in peace, and thanks for leaving so much work behind for us to enjoy.


#10

I remember seeing the Wizard Of the Earthsea as a children’s theater stageplay when I was six years old (the shadow scared me to my very core) and parts of that story still sit with me to this day. Such wonderfully vivid and evocative writing.

R.I.P miss LeGuin, you were a real one.


#11

There are many “Kings” of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but they pale in comparison to it’s one true Queen.


#12

Just found out today, since I’ve been in a bit of a limbo re: news, blogs, fora, etc. and nobody at work is plugged into this sphere of news I guess. Real shock to me, I feel a bit at a loss.