Ursula K. Le Guin has reportedly died

Ursula K. Le Guin has reportedly died

You would be hard-pressed to find another author who was as respected both within the science fiction/fantasy community and in the literary community writ large as

Ursula K. Le Guin (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The San Francisco Bay Area author won multiple Hugos and Nebulas (SF/F awards) and a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, just to name a few.

While the heroic scope and wonder of the Earthsea cycle could sweep up a young reader, the thoughtfulness of Le Guin’s works made them a challenge to adapt (not that attempts weren’t made).

Le Guin wasn’t thoughtful just in fiction; but was also known as an essayist and speaker, and was outspoken. Le Guin exalted writing, and praised other authors and wrote about the craft and art of writing.

You can find both some of the most famous fiction(The Left Hand of Darkness, The Lathe of Heaven), and non-fiction (Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story, Words ARE My Matter) in the USA Kindle store.

The community and society will miss Le Guin’s varied contributions, and I have no doubt you’ll see many laudatory comments over the next few days from writers (and readers) inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin.


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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2 Responses to “Ursula K. Le Guin has reportedly died”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I had just finished reading Ursula’s obituary in the NYT just before I read your post. The NYT obit was a little different in that it spent a lot of time and detail on the plots of her best-known works. It seemed longer than the usual NYT obituary.

    I read most of her better known early works. I found them intellectually stimulating, but as I grew older, I found that kind of work less interesting — a bit too dry for my taste. I have read none of her later efforts.

    I have been of late reading a few series in which magic is the primary backdrop. So I think I might reread LeGuin’s first 3 Earthsea books which also deal with magic to see how more recent treatments differ from hers.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The treatment of magic has changed over time in literature. Often, a popular series may create a set of “rules” used by other authors. That’s not just true in fantasy; science fiction has the same thing. Lot of authors have used Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics, even unofficially…and there are ray guns and “warp drives”.

      The Oz books have pretty specific rules, even if they did evolve after the first book (but there is an in-universe reason for that). Some types of magic users use tools; some don’t. Some do some kinds of magic, and not other kinds. When they are trying to solve a magic problem, there are all sorts of complications because of known rules. Ozma tries to simplify things by banning magic use altogether…except for certain members of the “cabinet”. However, some types of entities are inherently magical, which does, again, complicate things.

      I’ll strongly recommend Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits

      for what the real world rules of magic are. Much of fictional magic follows these rules…or at least, some of them.

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