Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ursula K. LeGuin has Died and I Am Sad

Ursula K. LeGuin wrote many quality books, but she also wrote the book, as in my favorite book ever (that isn't illustrated, e.g. a graphic novel). Ms. LeGuin created the masterpiece, "The Lathe of Heaven," which I discovered in Jr. High and have enjoyed re-reading ever since. I found an old, tattered copy at a neighbor's moving-out garage sale back then and they sold it to me for a buck or two, stating, "You like sci-fi right? You'll like it." I read it and loved it. It's a story about a man whose dreams alter reality, but is about so, so much more. It's a masterpiece of work on our society, empathy, space aliens, racism, and love. It continues to be well ahead of its time and any film adaptations I've seen have pale in comparison to its genius.

I read other works by Ms. LeGuin (with many folk adoring, "The Left Hand of Darkness," which is a solid work for sure), but "The Lathe of Heaven," has always stuck with me, its dark vision of a depressing future that also holds a glimmer of hopeful optimism being sheer genius. Ms. LeGuin was 88 when she passed on January 22nd and her name should be listed with all the other amazing writers who imagined fantastical worlds and potential futures throughout history--Vonnegut, Clarke, Bradbury, Asimov, Dick, Orwell and etc.
Oh, and don't think I miss the fact when looking at those names she stands-out as a female. As a woman in science-fiction, writing in that genre back when that was especially uncommon for a woman it is clear she was also a pioneer with her strong feminist voice to go with her amazing imagination. She was as much an advocate as an author, and that makes her departure from this Earth sting even more. God, I'm so depressed by this news.

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