Acclaimed Fantasy Author Ursula K. Le Guin Dead at 88


The immensely popular author Ursula K. Le Guin, died on Monday at her home in Portland at the age of 88. One thing that stands out about Le Guin's writing is her commitment to using the genres of science fiction and fantasy to not only reflect on our world, but to help us envision new ways of living. In 2017 she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters after having won numerous awards, including the Hugo (voted by fans) and Nebula (voted by writers) awards for a single science fiction book twice.

Other prominent authors including Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks have cited her as an influence on their work, according to the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).

In 1953 she married historian Charles Le Guin. She carved out such a distinctive voice that critic Harold Bloom placed her in the pantheon of fantasy writers alongside J.R.R. Tolkien, while the Earthsea series is oft considered a precursor to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, as it tells of a boy-wizard in a quest against evil.

Le Guin is the author of dozens of books, including 20 novels, six collections of poetry and over 100 short stories. Literary Award, an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender. She inspired generations of writers and readers who understood that women on the page or in the world could be powerful, that humankind should exist in balance with nature, and that all artists should be treated fairly.

Born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, California, in 1929, she was the youngest of four children and the only daughter of two anthropologists, Alfred L. Kroeber and Theodora Quinn Kroeber. "Her EARTHSEA books are a revelation", Hale tweeted. Before submitting it to her editor, I ran it by her. Creating an androgynous people, who only become male or female once a month in order to procreate, gave Le Guin the opportunity to write the iconoclastic sentence: "The king was pregnant", and to also question how language shapes our prejudices. Three years later, her break-out novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, provided a jolt to the genre and changed the course of science fiction.

To my mind, Le Guin's best book was her deceptively slim novella The Lathe of Heaven (1971).

She submitted her first science fiction work to a magazine in 1940, at the age of 11, and...

Le Guin's books have sold millions of copies across the globe and have also won her several prestigious awards. Her family confirmed the news of her death via the author's official Twitter account. The novel featured the staples of science fiction-spaceships, aliens, imaginary planets-but it was a galaxy far, far away from the mindless action flicks I'd seen at that point. You know, there were very few women writing sci-fi and fantasy in the '60s when she first began to publish. "I'll be re-reading her for the rest of my life".