The Left Hand Of Darkness (Sf Masterworks) by Ursula K. Le Guin

bookshelves: spring-2015, published-1969, sci-fi, radio-4, tbr-busting-2015, play-dramatisation, adventure, snow-times, cover-love, chase-me-chase-me

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from April 11 to 20, 2015
Description: Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender–or both–this is a broad gulf indeed.

Opening: I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.

A tandem TBR busting exercise – the paperback and a radio dramatisation

BBC description: Science fiction with incredible humanity from a brilliant feminist writer. This is the first dramatisation of Ursula Le Guin’s 1969 novel which is as groundbreaking in its approach to gender as when it was first published over 45 years ago.

In a snow-changed city in the middle of an Ice Age on an alien world, one young man prepares for the biggest mission of his life. Alone and unarmed, Genly Ai has been sent from Earth to persuade the world of Gethen to join The Ekumen, a union of planets. But it’s a task fraught with danger. Genly is shocking to the natives. This is a world in which humans are ambigendered – everyone can be a mother, and everyone can be a father.

Episode 1/2: First Minister Estraven is the only person who champions Genly’s cause, but their relationship is deeply incomprehensible and troubling. Genly’s life is at risk and he must decide who to trust.

2/2: In the middle of an Ice Age on an alien world two friends flee across endless snow plains on a journey that will take them to the edge of their physical and emotional endurance. The stakes are high – to save a world from war, and save their own lives.

Enjoyed this maybe because I was reading the paperback at the same time. The writing is perfection and the subject is quite nerve-wracking at times.


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