“The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Over the next few weeks, Mythgard is running a free online course on Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. I’m rereading Le Guin’s Hainish books in order to prepare. The Left Hand of Darkness isn’t the first book in the chronology, but it is the most famous…

What would society look like without gender? How would love and politics differ if we were neither male nor female? Gender is such a critical part of our identity that this thought exercise turns out to be incredibly difficult. Almost all human stories have some element of romance, or at gendered norms. In The Left Hand of Darkness, Le Guin asks readers to shed our cultural baggage and explore a humanity beyond gender.

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Update: Sci-Fi Handbook

Just a quick update. I haven’t posted in a while because things in the real world have been hectic. My next big project for this site is to review the Oxford Handbook of Science Fiction. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy from the publisher. As you can see below, this is quite a hefty tome.

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As much as I love science fiction, I’ve always felt I didn’t have a particularly strong grasp on the intellectual history of science fiction. Of course, I’ve read some of the classics, but from the perspective of a casual reader, not as a scholar. I’m looking forward to learning how literary scholars approach the genre.