In need of education

I'm reminded that I've never actually read any le Guin, which in my profession is probably something of a failing… Given I started the first Earthsea novel and stopped after maybe a hundred pages because it bored the snot out of me, can anyone suggest something else of hers?

14 thoughts on “In need of education

  1. Hmm, do you prefer SF or fantasy? In SF, I like The Left Hand of Darkness very much, but experiences with my husband tend to suggest that men prefer The Dispossessed, or her short stories (The Wind’s Twelve Quarters has many awesome stories. Birthday of the World is more recent, though I prefer the earlier collection, especially as it includes many seminal tales).
    Fantasy, depends on what you like. I personally liked her Annals of the Western Shore very much, but they’re YA (mainly, the protagonists are teenagers, and there’s a strong emphasis on finding your plac ein the world). Malafrena is not often mentioned because it’s not very much genre, but it’s a lovely portrait of a fictional Central Europe country in a pseudo-nineteen century. If you didn’t like Earthsea, I hesitate to suggest Tales from Earthsea (but it’s got one of her best fantasy stories, “On the High Marsh”).

      1. Thanks both. Left Hand of Darkness is the classic of her SF I believe, so maybe that’s the one I should go for. Quite aside from anything else, if I’m going to continue to keep writing violent, fairly blokey fantasy I should maybe make sure I read more things like Left Hand on principle!

        1. Don’t count on it ;)

          Which is to say the dams are easily as brutal as the drakes, but the key, I think, to Hand is that as liberated as we are sexually, we are still rather repressed in the intimacy department.

          1. Well I meant as a perspective to bear in mind as a bloke writing fantasy, rather than anything to temper the nastiness!

  2. Hmm, do you prefer SF or fantasy? In SF, I like The Left Hand of Darkness very much, but experiences with my husband tend to suggest that men prefer The Dispossessed, or her short stories (The Wind’s Twelve Quarters has many awesome stories. Birthday of the World is more recent, though I prefer the earlier collection, especially as it includes many seminal tales).
    Fantasy, depends on what you like. I personally liked her Annals of the Western Shore very much, but they’re YA (mainly, the protagonists are teenagers, and there’s a strong emphasis on finding your plac ein the world). Malafrena is not often mentioned because it’s not very much genre, but it’s a lovely portrait of a fictional Central Europe country in a pseudo-nineteen century. If you didn’t like Earthsea, I hesitate to suggest Tales from Earthsea (but it’s got one of her best fantasy stories, “On the High Marsh”).

      1. Thanks both. Left Hand of Darkness is the classic of her SF I believe, so maybe that’s the one I should go for. Quite aside from anything else, if I’m going to continue to keep writing violent, fairly blokey fantasy I should maybe make sure I read more things like Left Hand on principle!

        1. Don’t count on it ;)

          Which is to say the dams are easily as brutal as the drakes, but the key, I think, to Hand is that as liberated as we are sexually, we are still rather repressed in the intimacy department.

          1. Well I meant as a perspective to bear in mind as a bloke writing fantasy, rather than anything to temper the nastiness!

Leave a Reply