Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

January 23, 2018

On the passing of Ursula K Le Guin

Filed under: science fiction,Ursula K Le Guin — Razib Khan @ 6:13 pm

About four months ago Jerry Pournelle died. He and Ursula K Le Guin did not get on, in part because of their political differences. And despite my differences with both, I read them with appreciation.

Well, Le Guin passed away today. A science fiction and fantasy great she was. I appreciate especially her defenses of “genre fiction,” since she received admiration from the literary mainstream.

That is probably because her prose was more writerly than most science fiction, which came out of the adolescent male pulp tradition, long on plot, short on a turn of the phrase.

If I had to pick a work of Le Guin’s to reread, it has to be The Tombs of Atuan. Earthsea was not a Middle Earth rip-off, and her quasi-Daoist philosophical framework was genuinely novel.

(when I lived in Berkely I would regularly pass the building named after her father)

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