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Great Science-Fiction
& Fantasy Works

science-fiction & fantasy literature:
a critical list with discussions

Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by
Ursula K. Le Guin

Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of Ursula K. Le Guin and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Ursula K. Le Guin

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Le Guin: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn't think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what's what.)

I don't pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Le Guin tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Le Guin worthy; in sum, to help you rank Le Guin (and the works by Le Guin listed here) on your personal literary "to do" list.

A Few Words About Ursula K. Le Guin

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the "Other Resources" section below will lead you to some information about the "Notable Books" listed farther down this page.


Other Ursula K. Le Guin Resources

Ursula K. Le Guin Resources on the Web

Naturally, the first will be Ursula K. Le Guin's Web Site. (Another dedicated Le Guin web site is The Ekumen, but it seems sadly out of date--last entry January 6, 2002.)

Of individual Le Guin pages, some of the most critically useful include Ursula K. Le Guin at The Author's Calendar; an Ursula K. Le Guin criticism portal page at eNotes; "Ursula LeGuin's Magical World of Earthsea" an essay by Jan M. Griffin at The Alan Review; and "The Disconnected: About Ursula Le Guin" by (I think) Andy O'Reilly.

There is also the requisite quota of on-line interviews: Ursula K. Le Guin, with Faith L. Justice at Salon; "Driven By A Different Chauffeur" with Nick Gevers at The SF Site; A Return to Earthsea at Locus (excerpts); and Ursula K. Le Guin with Mark B. Wilson at

An interesting piece of marginalia is Le Guin's piece in Slate revealingly titled "A Whitewashed Earthsea" and even more revealingly sub-titled "How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books".

There are also countless one-off reviews of individual books (and of the "Earthsea" cycle); if you're interested, Google Is Your Friend. And there is a Le Guin on-line forum.

Ursula K. Le Guin Resources in Print

There is a remarkable number:

  • Communities of the Heart: The Rhetoric of Myth in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, by Warren Rochelle
  • Understanding Ursula K. Le Guin, by Elizabeth Cummins
  • Approaches to the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin, by James Warren Bittner
  • Ursula K. Le Guin by Charlotte Spivack
  • Presenting Ursula K. Le Guin, by Suzanne Elizabeth Reid
  • Ursula K.Le Guin, by Barbara J. Bucknall
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, a Primary and Secondary Bibliography, by Elizabeth Cummins Cogell
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, Voyager to Inner Lands and to Outer Space, by Joe De Bolt
  • Radical Imagination: Feminist Conceptions of the Future in Ursula Le Guin, by Margarete Keulen
  • Ursula K. Le Guin Beyond Genre: Fiction for Children and Adults, by Michael Cadden
  • Zephyr and Boreas: Winds of Change in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin : A Festschrift in Memory of Pilgrim Award Winner, Marjorie Hope Nicolson, by Robert Reginald and George Edgar Slusser
  • The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's the Dispossessed, by Laurence Davis, Peter G. Stillman
  • Conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin, Carl Freedman, editor
  • Ursula K. Le Guin: A Critical Companion, by Susan M. Bernardo and Graham J. Murphy
  • and notably (if dated) Ursula K. Le Guin, by Ursula Le Guin

Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by Ursula K. Le Guin ***

(For more possible titles by this author, see the "Unrated Books by Rated Authors" page.)

Note: Orsinian Tales and Malafrena are fine books--I recommend them--but not listed below because they are not really in our fields but are essentially mainstream fiction.

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