Le Guin, author of some of the most popular science fiction and fantasy books, died Monday. In 2003, she became the first woman to be named a Grandmaster of Science Fiction. She met and married her husband, Charles Le Guin, while on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1953.
Today my inbox is filled with emails from other writers, especially women, all with a very similar message: No other writer has influenced me as deeply and profoundly as she.
Le Guin didn't always enjoy being called a science fiction writer, and she received acclaim far beyond the genre - she won National Book Awards, published stories in The New Yorker and saw her work collected by the Library of America. Even her poems - short, withering, often offering no redemption - are about anarchy and a crippling normalcy that must be overthrown.
Like many fantasy writers, she was preoccupied with ideas around the balance between good and evil and the evolution of technology.
The writer was born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, California, on October 21, 1929, to a psychologist mother and an anthropologist father. He did not specify the cause of death, but said she had been in poor health for several months. Before submitting it to her editor, I ran it by her.
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Le Guin served as a lecturer or writer in residence at a number of colleges and universities, including Portland State University, Pacific University, Stanford University, and the Indiana University Writers Conference.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next", Le Guin said.
Throughout her career, Le Guinwon major speculative fiction awards the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award and World Fantasy Award, each a few times. According to EW.com, Le Guin also penned short stories, poetry compilations, and children's books. Mixing science fiction and fantasy, and told from the point of view of an interplanetary envoy stranded in a planet with a medieval culture, the novel hinted at something different. "Still honoured I got to do this", alongside a video of him presenting her with a lifetime achievement award at the 2014 National Book awards. Luckily, we still have her books. Her family confirmed the news of her death via the author's official Twitter account. "The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art".
Le Guin was all of 11 when she submitted her first story to the magazine Astounding Science Fiction. 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.
To Le Guin, old age doesn't belong to the strong, to the bold or to the bullies.
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