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LeGuin, Ursula K
- Series: Earthsea
- A Wizard of Earthsea (7 r)
- The Tombs of Atuan (6 r)
- The Farthest Shore (4 r)
- Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (4 r)
- Very different fantasy series from what I'm used to.
LeGuin uses a somehow more "distant" writing style when
referring to her characters, rarely giving us glimpses
of what motivates them as seems to be the case with more
recent books. The actions of the characters speak for
themselves very effectively. This series follows a wizard
from his first introduction to magic, then through a
series of adventures (sometimes the adventures seem
completely allegorical yet real at the same time...a
nice effect) in a world consisting of lots of islands
and a big ocean. Short for a four-book series, but I
liked it all right.
- The Dispossessed (6 r)
- Book about two different societies...a completely communist
(in the truest sense) society based on the Moon and it's capitalist
counterpart on the Earth. This story follows an ambassador from
the lunar colony as he tries to understand what makes the societies
tick, among other things. An interesting read.
- The Left Hand of Darkness (7 r)
- Won all kinds of awards when first published, and rightfully so.
This book is about an alien ice-world society in which the entire
population changes sex in cycles. An amazing amount of social
ground is covered almost as an aside to a fascinating story.
- The Lathe of Heaven (8)
- This is a novel about alternate realities, brought about by
the dreams of a psychiatric patient. In a very interesting twist,
the patient and his doctor come to realize what is going on and
attempt to control the dreams to reshape the world into a better
place. As with all such wish-fulfillment stories, there is the
law of unintended consequences, and that's true in spades here.
There's also a battle between the doctor and patient for control
of the dreams, but that battle soon becomes irrelevant as the
world changes result in awful problems far beyond the apparent
reach of either man. This novel ages fairly well, and the big ideas
in it are compelling enough to make this worth looking for.
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