Monday, 21 December 2009

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin


Genly Ai is a diplomat of sorts, sent to observe the inhabitants of the snowbound planet of Winter. But the isolated, androgynous people are suspicious of this strange, single-gendered visitor. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. So, bringing news of a vast coalition of planets they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief. But also something more. For Genly Ai, who sees himself as a bringer of the truth, it is a bittersweet irony that he will discover truths about himself and, in the snow-shrouded strangeness of Winter, find both love and tragedy ...First published in the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, The Left Hand of Darkness is a classic of science fiction and a masterpiece of modern literature.


As many readers will undoubtably know, Le Guinn is perhaps the premiere female author of the genre who did for female authors what Arthur C Clarke did for the male writers out there. With this offering having reached its 40th Anniversary its always nice to get a special print to not only commemorate but to demonstrate the best that the genre has to new readers.

What you can expect from this is a book that has a great anthropological background, beautifully descriptive with enough “history” to make the world not only believable but a place that will be remembered for years to come. Add to the mix some good solid characterisation and a well put together plot and its will soon become apparent why this is perhaps a modern classic of the genre

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will have to look for this one!