RIP Ursula K. Le Guin

One of the greats has passed. She lived life as well as can be lived, but I am still more choked up at her death than I expected.

Like your user name.

Yikes!! I didn’t realize she was 88. Well, she lived a full life, but sad to see her go. I very much enjoyed her books, but especially the not-so-famous one Always Coming Home.

I read the Earthsea trilogy several times. (and the next two once, though I kinda liked The Other Wind)

RIP another Grand Master


She was talented. I truly loved “The Dispossessed”.

Yup. She influenced me more than any other fiction author.

These are my two favorite works by her. “The Dispossessed” is in my opinion the most perfect utopian novel–excuse me, “ambiguous utopia”–ever written. (When I was in college, I had a paperback copy whose back cover blurb hilariously misunderstood the utopian planet to be the technological planet). It certainly shaped my political views in its generally-favorable-but-not-entirely-favorable view of a socialist anarchist society.

And “Always Coming Home” is a tour de force, albeit a pretty inaccessible one. For those who don’t know, Le Guin was the daughter of two prominent anthropologists, and she wrote Always Coming Home as a series of anthropological records of a hunter-gatherer civilization that lived in California 200,000 years in the future. I tried reading it a few times before it caught me, but when it did, good lord, it was brilliant.

Well, crap. That’s a loss. She was still pretty engaged, interesting and had all her marbles about her right up to the end too.

A superb writer.

A while ago I started reading A Wizard of Earthsea aloud to my daughter. Although we had to stop, (it got way too scary for a four year old), it gave me a new appreciation of just how amazing her writing was. I’m sad to see she’s gone.

One of the greats, indeed.

She taught for a week at the Clarion workshop I attended. We all adored her. She was just a wonderful person in addition to being a brilliant writer.

I served her tea and freshly baked cookies at a writer’s convention back in 2005, then we had a lovely chat about the weather, the goodness that fans can accomplish and various other trifles. When she got up to attend a panel she was a part of, she gave me a signed copy of The Compass Rose as a gift and said she hoped we could talk again. We did, at various conventions and meet-ups over the years. I always wanted to see her one more time…but sometimes “one more time” is one time more than we are allotted in this life.
Goodbye, Ursula K.

Nam hietha arw Ged arkvaissa! (If you seek Ged, He is here)

Her last interviewis worth a read. I never realised she had three young children when she was writing her most well known works:

I actually gasped out loud when I saw this pop up on the AP news feed just now.

An unbelievably gifted writer, she remains a major influence.

RIP Mrs. LeGuin; you done fucking awesome.

I recently picked up a pair of anthologies of her short fiction. The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas and some of her other shorts should not be overlooked either.

Of all the writers of science fiction and fantasy I read as a young person, she was the one who made me think the hardest while reading her works. To this day, I consider “The Dispossessed” one of the best novels I’ve ever read. I recall at the time being very upset at the ambiguity of it all; it took me a while to realize that I was being challenged to actually use my grey matter by this.

And, of course, Earthsea was my fantasy second home, after Middle-Earth.

Sad day.

Le Guin was a national treasure. I can’t summon the right words.

Scalzi’s tribute:

I was terribly sad to hear this. She was always delightful when we chatted at readings. I had just sent her a postcard from Antarctica last month, about Genly Ai and Estraven on the ice.

She was a wonderful writer, and a fascinating and wonderful person. She’ll be sorely missed.