The Left Hand of Darkness

Paperback, 336 pages

English language

Published Sept. 20, 2018 by Orion Publishing Co.


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4 stars (7 reviews)

[Comment by Kim Stanley Robinson, on The Guardian's website][1]: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin (1969)

One of my favorite novels is The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K Le Guin. For more than 40 years I've been recommending this book to people who want to try science fiction for the first time, and it still serves very well for that. One of the things I like about it is how clearly it demonstrates that science fiction can have not only the usual virtues and pleasures of the novel, but also the startling and transformative power of the thought experiment.

In this case, the thought experiment is quickly revealed: "The king was pregnant," the book tells us early on, and after that we learn more and more about this planet named Winter, stuck in an ice age, where the humans are most of the time …

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  • American literature