On this day, eighty-six years ago, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was born. We’re not sure whether she’s celebrating the event, but we certainly are! Apart from being one of the most lyrical, insightful, imaginative and important authors the SFF field has ever produced, she is that rarest of writers: one fêted by the literary establishment as much as by the SFF community. If anyone ever tries to tell you that SF or fantasy writers are technically inferior to their ‘literary’ counterparts, just thrust a Le Guin book into their hands and watch their pre-conceptions crumble (if they’re being honest).
Over a long and distinguished career, Ursula K. Le Guin has won five Hugo Awards, six Nebula Awards, two World Fantasy Awards and three James Tiptree, Jr Memorial Awards. She was the first author to win both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel twice – in 1970 for The Left Hand of Darkness and five years later for The Dispossessed. In 1995 she was given the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, in 2001 was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and in 2003 was named a SFWA Grand Master. And, in a long-overdue accolade from the literary mainstream, she was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters – an honour created to recognize individuals who have made an exceptional impact on the United States’ literary heritage.
Her acceptance speech was a work of art, in itself:
We’re lucky enough to be Ursula K. Le Guin’s UK publisher and have a range of her titles available in print and eBook, including four (at the moment!) in the SF Masterworks series, and the two-volume Selected Stories:
You can find details of available print titles at Ursula Le Guin’s page on the Orion website, explore her available eBooks on the SF Gateway and read more about the author in her entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
Happy Birthday, Ursula Le Guin!