If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.
Ursula K. Le Guin is a prolific writer, and is most known for her Speculative Fiction
novels, although she has also written poetry, nonfiction, and young adult novels. Her works often explore cultural, sociological, ecological, or feminist themes; anarchism
also occasionally show up subtly (she is probably the best-known Western Taoist and has both written a commentary on and translated the Tao Te Ching
) or, in the case of The Dispossessed
, not so subtly (Anarres is an anarcho-communist society; this is a political book but not an anvilicious
one: the subtitle is An Ambiguous Utopia
, and a central theme of the work is that Anarres has decayed in the years since its founding due in no small part to ideology and bureaucracy replacing revolutionary fervour). Her works have greatly influenced modern Fantasy
and Science Fiction
authors, with systems, words, and ideas from her works showing up so often that some have become tropes in and of themselves. One of these was her coining of the word ansible
, which has appeared in numerous scifi works since.
Her Earthsea novels have twice been adapted to visual medium. One is the oft-maligned Sci Fi Channel
and the other is the Studio Ghibli
film Tales from Earthsea.
Le Guin has made no secret of the fact that she is not particularly fond of either adaptation
though she was rather more charitable towards Studio Ghibli. She was herself very keen on a planned adaptation of the first Earthsea book with director Michael Powell
(of The Red Shoes
and Black Narcissus
fame) a screenplay of which was previously published, and regretted that it never received funding.
Her story "The Word for World is Forest" was included in Harlan Ellison
's anthology Again, Dangerous Visions
Her works include, but are not limited to: