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Legendary writer Ursula Ok. Le Guin dies at 88

Legendary writer Ursula Ok. Le Guin dies at 88

Ursula K Le Guin, one of the greatest science-fiction and fantasy authors, died on Monday at the age of 88. Le Guin was best known for the "Earthsea" fantasy books and for her influential gender-bending space saga "The Left Hand Of Darkness".

Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Author John Scalzi wrote about Le Guin saying, "Look at the top tier of writers in science fiction and fantasy today ... and you see the unmistakable traces of Le Guin in their work". It might have been the first science fiction novel I ever read, but in my decades of reading since, I'm not sure I've read one better.

Le Guin was born in Berkeley, Calif., and married Charles Le Guin, a historian, in Paris in 1953. Many of her warriors did no battle - they grappled with philosophical dilemmas and the social order as much as malicious shadows and dragons. She published more than 20 novels, a dozen poetry collections, seven essay collections and 13 children's books.

Stephen King tweeted that she was "not just a science fiction writer; a literary icon". Everything she did was art.

Many writers mourned her death. The family did not confirm a cause of death, but said Le Guin had been ill for the last several months.

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In a 1966 novel, Le Guin wrote about a little device, called an ansible, that allows its owner to communicate across land masses, even planets, in an instant.

Other of her books have been adapted into stage plays, operas or TV miniseries, and an adaptation of The Left Hand of Darkness has been in development. 2004 saw an adaptation of Earthsea done for Sci Fi that Le Guin thought "whitewashed" many of her diverse characters.

Settling down in Portland on their return to the United States it would be a decade before Le Guinn had her first book published.

To Le Guin, old age doesn't belong to the strong, to the bold or to the bullies. She wrote this story called "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas", which is about a handsome, happy, prosperous city where everything good there - you know, the parades, the parties, the clothes - depends on the life of this one poor child who's kept in misery and squalor.

The US Library of Congress designated Le Guin a Living Legend in 2000, for her significant contribution to America's cultural heritage. "Still honoured I got to do this", alongside a video of him presenting her with a lifetime achievement award at the 2014 National Book awards. You know, there were very few women writing sci-fi and fantasy in the '60s when she first began to publish.

Even before that, however, Le Guin started work on her globally popular Earthsea fantasy series. But I, too, believe in using the term sparingly and carefully, and the criteria she gave me for its use, in my opinion, fit her completely.

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