Thursday, January 08, 2004

The Sci Fi Channel will have a miniseries based on Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. Le Guin is certainly a well-regarded author. One of her short stories, "Clones," was included in the American literature anthology used in my sophomore year of high school.

Still, I've noticed a tendency for many science fiction fans I know to have little love for her work. Myself, I admit to not being able to start The Left Hand of Darkness, but it may just be a matter of being in the right mood. I've had similar reactions to some magical realist works that I later enjoyed. I rather liked her Earthsea books.

I've always had an interest with Le Guin. As she is the daughter of noted anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, I'd like to think she has a certain sensitivity to the social sciences (even if anthro feels ickily removed more statistics-based disciplines). I've always had a fascination with the idea of "social science fiction" rather than just "science fiction." Sci fi seems to have characters who are overly individualistic.

Admittedly, literature with its very themes of man vs. self, man vs. man, and man vs. nature is biased towards individuals. If I were to try to write a sci fi novel, I would probably get bogged down with the details of creating social structures that I consider social-scientifically valid.

If anyone has suggested reading along this line, I would appreciate it.

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