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Topic: Ursula K. Le Guin

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Subject: Ursula K. Le Guin
Date Posted: 8/13/2010 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 2
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I am interested in checking out this author, but she has written so many books.  Can anyone recommend a good one to start with?

Date Posted: 8/13/2010 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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The Left Hand of Darkness.

ETA   Unless you are looking for fantasy or YA, rather than SF



Last Edited on: 8/13/10 10:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: I'll second that recommendation
Date Posted: 8/14/2010 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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The author whose books I have read the most number of, is Ursula LeGuin.  The book I have read the most number of times is The Left Hand of Darkness.  Definitely the right place to start!

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 8/15/2010 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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Left Hand of Darkness          

Date Posted: 8/20/2010 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
Posts: 360
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I HIGHLY recommend her Earthsea trilogy. Even though it is young adult, it gives you a fantastic taste of what she is capable of without overwhelming you.

Subject: Earthsea
Date Posted: 8/20/2010 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Sorry to disagree, but I think the original three Earthsea books are overrated, really just YA dragon stories on a par with her early YA science fiction books - Rocannon's World, City of Illusions, and Planet of Exile.

On the other hand, the later Earthsea books, added when she returned to that universe as a mature writer, Tehanu and The Other Wind, are quite good.

Date Posted: 8/25/2010 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
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Disagree away. Cause I HATED the later Earthsea books :-)

Date Posted: 8/26/2010 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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I think, as do so many, that The Left Hand of Darkness is somewhere in the top ten all-time SF/Fantasy novels.

But I don't think I would start there. Just too much of everything at a time. Maybe, if one already has several hundred SF/Fantasy book under their belt.

Brad -
Date Posted: 8/27/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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I wasn't very impressed with Left Hand of Darkness.  The general plot was great, but the book jumped around too much so I found it hard to follow.  I didn't like how you'd be reading the story and then the next chapter it jumped to something else.

Date Posted: 8/28/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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"I think, as do so many, that The Left Hand of Darkness is somewhere in the top ten all-time SF/Fantasy novels.

But I don't think I would start there. Just too much of everything at a time. Maybe, if one already has several hundred SF/Fantasy book under their belt."

Several hundred?  The Left Hand of Darkness was probably one of the first dozen sci-fi novels I read, and it wasn't a problem.

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
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thanks everyone, I will check out The Left Hand of Darkness. 

by the way, I am new to SF/Fantasy (other than having read the LOTR trilogy), so I would gladly take recommendations for authors other than Le Guin.

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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I'd recommend starting with the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Funny.  Well written.  Strong plots.  Big ideas as well.  Covers all the basics that SF is made of. 

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2005
Posts: 6
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The Dispossessed is set in the same fictional universe as The Left Hand of Darkness, so if you like what you read then move on to this one. 

Date Posted: 9/23/2010 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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Don't  miss Sherri Tepper!  My all time favorite SF author.  The Family Tree, Gate to Women's Country, Raising the Stones, Grass.

And the old classics are just as powerful today.  I am rereading On The Beach by Nevil Shute and it is still one of the best novels about nuclear death of the earth ever written.  And Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. 

I just finished Last Ship by William Brinkley.  Very interesting premise and well told.

I have always kept my copy of The Left Hand of Darkness since the '60's.  Great book. 

Margaret Atwood has a couple of SF that are also must reads:  The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.