Stay on target Netflix Axes ‘The OA’ Sci-Fi Series After 2 Seasons‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Becomes Mostly Harm… A Wizard Of EarthseaWhen Le Guin invented a fantasy world, it tended to stick around. She first introduced the world to Earthsea in 1968 with A Wizard Of Earthsea and revisited it throughout her life, with the final story set there, “The Daughter Of Odren,” published in 2014. The first book introduces readers to this new world of islands surrounded by a massive, chartless ocean and the story of a young mage named Ged who releases a shadowy creature by accident and must quest to dispel it. It’s a brisk, engaging read that opened the door to much more. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. The Birthday Of The WorldShort stories have been a vital form for science fiction writers to test out new ideas since the genre began, and Le Guin took great advantage of that. This 2002 collection contains some of her all-time best, including the titular story which posits a society where hereditary rulers are considered living Gods and what happens when the arrival of outsiders calls that into question. Le Guin’s deep interest in anthropology and world culture is on full display in these challenging and entrancing tales. Dancing At The Edge Of The WorldLe Guin’s non-fiction writing is just as vital and innovative as her sci-fi and fantasy. This collection, published in 1987, encompasses 33 talks and essays and 17 reviews from the decade previously. Le Guin touches on a wide variety of topics here, from literary criticism to college commencement speeches. One of the most fascinating is the essay about being on set for the filming of the 1980 Lathe of Heaven movie and watching her words transformed into a new medium. The DispossessedAnother entry in Le Guin’s Hainish cycle (set in the same universe as Left Hand Of Darkness), many serious fans consider The Dispossessed her masterwork. It follows the development of civilizations on a pair of twin planets, one of which was settled by revolutionaries 200 years ago. The book wrestles with grand ideas of self-rule and mathematical discovery while also being compulsively readable and exciting. That’s one thing she was truly great at – wrapping up the medicine in candy, as it were. The Lathe Of HeavenOriginally serialized in the pages of Amazing Stories, this compelling novel takes a Philip K. Dickian view of the near future. Set in Portland in 2002, the main character, George Orr, has dreams that reshape reality and leave everybody but him unaware that things have changed. His psychiatrist harnesses that power to alter existence in increasingly unhinged ways until the very fabric of the universe is threatened. It’s relentlessly imaginative and a whole lot of fun. The world lost a titan of geek culture this week with the passing of Ursula Le Guin. The 88-year-old author was one of the most influential the field of science fiction has ever seen, penning a vast number of novels, essays, and short stories while winning high honors from the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. She was a born writer, penning her first fantasy story at 9 and sending one off to a magazine, Astounding Science Fiction, at just 11. Unsurprisingly, it was rejected, but she spent the next decade polishing her craft.From then on, she worked furiously, first crafting tales set in the fantastic realm of Orsinia and then expanding her lens to imagined worlds of all sorts. Her relentless imagination drove her to explore deep concepts and other mediums, including film and opera.If you’ve never delved into her work, there’s no better time than the present. Here’s the Geek guide to the essential Ursula K. Le Guin.The Left Hand Of DarknessPublished in 1969, this novel was one of Le Guin’s major breakthroughs. It helped pave the way for feminist readings of science fiction, involving an ambassador from Terra who travels to a planet of beings with ambiguous gender and sexuality. Le Guin was interested in using fictional worlds to study how we behaved in the real one, and The Left Hand Of Darkness is a clarion example. It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards the next year, and still stands among the greats in the genre. The Unreal And The RealA master of the short story form, Le Guin continued to pump them out up until her death. This 2016 collection contains some of her most powerful later work, including the brilliant New Yorker piece “She Unnames Them,” about the animals of the Earth shedding their human-given designations for something else. Many of the pieces in this volume aren’t explicitly fantasy or sci-fi, but they deal with ideas outside of the scope of common fiction. Very worth reading. The Complete OrsiniaLe Guin’s earliest fictional world, Orsinia was host to her explorations from 1959 onwards. A small central European country, Orsinia was a canvas on which she could paint a reflection of modern history, from the Austrian empire to post-WWII Communism. This 700-page brick contains all of the short stories as well as the 1979 novel Malafrena, the most well-developed work in the series. There’s not much fantastic to be found here, but the works herein demonstrate her flawless grasp of character and plot. The Beginning PlaceOne of Le Guin’s most unique works, this could be read as her attempt to tackle the sort of fantasy coming of age tale seen in Narnia. It goes to some very different places, though. Protagonists Irene Pannis and Hugh Rogers independently find a portal to the land of Tembreabrezi, but when they discover each other things get complicated. This is a great book for younger readers, but adult fantasy fans will find a lot to love here too.