Oftentimes when engaging with science fiction, I find myself wondering, Why do these aliens have the exact same gender construction as humans? That seems highly unlikely. Thankfully, there's this book which removes itself thoroughly from that trope. Through dense and unique world-building of an alien planet, Le Guin tells us truths about our own world. This book is worth the read purely for the intensity in which the alien culture is explored; never have I been so invested in the politics of a fictional planet. Recommended By Zoe S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards
A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.
"An instant classic." Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[A] science fiction masterpiece.” Newsweek
“A jewel of a story.” Frank Herbert
“As profuse and original in invention as The Lord of the Rings.” Michael Moorcock
“An instant classic.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own.” The Boston Globe
“Stellar…A triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea…Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. A major event in fantasy literature.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Richly told…Le Guin hasn't lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants doings immediately.” Booklist
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards for "Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year," this famous novel tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender.
About the Author
Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Her novels include Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions, and The Left Hand of Darkness. With the awarding of the 1975 Hugo and Nebula Awards to The Dispossessed, she became the first author to win both awards twice for novels. Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon.