On reading Ursula K. Le Guin

I’ve just read Taylor Clark’s interview of Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s very interesting and illuminating. She is a great and prodigious writer and it is sad her well is running dry, but understandable. I love her attitude to writing and the publishing world. Read the interview here:


“Le Guin managed to write about enchanted realms and faraway planets without ever straying from the core issues of our own bluish rock. While many fantastical novels and films present starship battles and magic spells as mindless spectacle, Le Guin relentlessly turned sci-fi’s trappings into innovative new avenues to plumb deeper human conflicts. In so doing, she helped hack out the all-important path between science fiction and literary legitimacy that writers like Michael Chabon and David Mitchell walk today—which is why so many big-name current authors credit her with their careers, and more. As the fantasy superstar and lifelong superfan Neil Gaiman said, “She made me a better writer. And I think much more importantly, she made me a better person who wrote.”

This well hacked path led to her finally receiving a  Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the  National Book Awards – a lifetime-achievement honor from the literary establishment, which had ignored her excellent work for many years because it was in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

I hope that reviewers who, up to now, have concentrated only on ‘literary’ genres, will take more notice of science fiction and fantasy as valid  literature worthy of their attention.

Happy reading to all

RB Watkinson


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