Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin
I discovered Ursula Le Guin back at the University of Connecticut in my final year. I had the opportunity to take a few electives - my last year included classes like Age of the Dinosaurs and Science Fiction - and the Science Fiction class included her The Dispossessed. It was my favorite book in that class - and to this day it remains one of my favorite books. Subtitled An Ambiguous Utopia, it's great science fiction that makes you think. It doesn't give easy villains but rather people trying to do the best they can.
Ms. Le Guin passed away on January 22 at the age of 88. She lived a long life and had a successful career - in my opinion her greatest works are among the greatest of the 20th century. She bridged genres and made it look easy. There was a hardness to her science fiction, such as a universe with no faster than light travel. But her stories were very much social ones, exploring ideas such as sexuality and gender roles, anarchy, capitalism, etc. Her Earthsea novels are superb examples of young adult fantasy. The Dungeon Master in me loves the idea of a game set on a world of islands and seas...
Like many artists and writers, what she created will live well beyond her years.