Science fiction, fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin dies at 88

Things We Saw Today: RIP Ursula K. Le Guin, The Queen of Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy writers around the Pacific Northwest and around the world are paying tribute to award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin, who died peacefully at the age of 88 on Monday at her home in Portland, Ore. Her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, did not specify a cause of death, but said she had in been in poor health in recent months.

Her breakout novel A Wizard of Earthsea was published in 1968 and became part of a series in the next few years including The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore as well as later entries such as Tehanu and The Other Wind released in the early 1990s and 2000s. Le Guin once translated "Tao Te Ching", publishing her take on the Taoist classic amid novels, stories and books of essays and poetry that made her one of the most beloved writers in American literature. I will not claim to have read everything Le Guin composed, but I can attest that everything that I read of hers was wonderful. The novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards, and is often taught in high school and college.

Le Guin is survived by her husband, son, two daughters, two brothers and four grandchildren.

And in the different societies of The Dispossessed, published in 1974, Le Guin explores the frictions born of vastly different ideologies scraping up against each other.

It is with a heavy heart and a saddened soul that I write this tonight.

Even her male protagonists were not macho like a number of science fiction and fantasy heroes. She also wrote a guide for writers.

"Throughout her life she embraced new forms of technology; she was constantly pushing boundaries and barriers".

Much of Le Guin's science fiction has a common background: a loosely knit confederation of worlds known as the Ekumen.

Some of her works, including Tales From Earthsea and The Lathe of Heaven, have been adapted into films and television programs. She was also honoured with the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious honour for children's literature in America, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American letters.

"She was a peaceful warrior", he said Tuesday, "but for us as family, her legacy as a wife and mother is just as extraordinary". We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries - the realists of a larger reality. It included everything from moving reflections on her cat to wry observations about coming to terms with her advancing age: "If I'm ninety and believe I'm forty-five, I'm headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub". "And I think a lot of readers hear it, too".

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