Legendary Fantasy Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Dead at 88

Thursday, 25 Jan, 2018

"Ursula K. Le Guin's work made so much of what I love about science fiction and fantasy possible". Le Guin was one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers ever, although to say that is just to invite people to nod. She's a Grandmaster of Science Fiction - the genre's top honour and one rarely awarded to women. It was there that she met her husband, Charles Le Guin.

Writers and thinkers paid tribute on social media to the writer.

Aside from her success in novels, Le Guin also authored a dozen collections of poetry, over 100 short stories published in a number of volumes, seven collections of essays, 13 children's books, and five volumes of translation. Even in comparison to the world of realist mainstream fiction, the quality of her prose and thought was outstanding. Everything she did was art. I can't imagine that any other writer in the history of the world has ever matched the sheer number, not to mention the complexity, not to mention the vividness, of worlds she created.

Le Guin graduated from Radcliffe College in 1951, earned a master's degree in romance literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia University in 1952, and won a Fulbright fellowship to study in Paris.

Le Guin's son Theo Downes-Le Guin didn't specify the cause of her death but told The New York Times she had been in poor health for several months. Although I first discovered her work as a teenager, I've returned to The Dispossessed and A Wizard of Earthsea again and again, with undiminished pleasure.

"What I read as a kid, what other people were writing, it was very male-centered", Le Guin said in an interview with The Chronicle in 2016.

She is perhaps best known for her Earthsea series, beginning with "A Wizard of Earthsea" in 1968.

She submitted her first short story for publication at the age of 11, and continued writing prolifically until recently. 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.

Le Guin's themes were manifold but her work is closely associated with speculative fiction concerning gender, environmentalism and anarchism.

Le Guin was born Ursula Kroeber on 21 October 1929 in Berkeley, California. She objected to the word.

Le Guin received a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Award Foundation in 2014.

In a post on Twitter about the author's death, Gaiman said Le Guin's writing would live on. Resistance and change often begin in art. But I, too, believe in using the term sparingly and carefully, and the criteria she gave me for its use, in my opinion, fit her completely.

The later books revisited and revised the setting, with Le Guin taking into account feedback from readers with "a tremendous capacity for self-criticism", Mieville said.