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If there were a canon of classic science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness would be included without debate. Certainly, no science fiction bookshelf may be said to be complete without it. But the real question: is it fun to read? It is science fiction of an earlier time, a time that has not worn particularly well in the genre. The Left Hand of Darkness was a groundbreaking book in 1969, a time when, like the rest of the arts, science fiction was awakening to new dimensions in both society and literature. But the first excursions out of the pulp tradition are sometimes difficult to reread with much enjoyment. Rereading The Left Hand of Darkness, decades after its publication, one feels that those who chose it for the Hugo and Nebula awards were right to do so, for it truly does stand out as one of the great books of that era. It is immensely rich in timeless wisdom and insight.
The Left Hand of Darkness is science fiction for the thinking reader, and should be read attentively in order to properly savor the depth of insight and the subtleties of plot and character. It is one of those pleasures that requires a little investment at the beginning, but pays back tenfold with the joy of raw imagination that resonates through the subsequent 30 years of science fiction storytelling. Not only is the bookshelf incomplete without owning it, so is the reader without having read it. --L. Blunt Jackson --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
“A jewel of a story.”—Frank Herbert
“As profuse and original in invention as The Lord of the Rings.”—Michael Moorcock
“An instant classic.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Like all great writers of fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin creates imaginary worlds that restore us, hearts eased, to our own.”—The Boston Globe
“Stellar…A triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea…Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. A major event in fantasy literature.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Richly told…Le Guin hasn’t lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants’ doings immediately.”—Booklist
The Left Hand of Darkness becomes a story totally worth reading with the last 70 or so pages. With the beginning keeping you interested, just enough, with what exactly is going to... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Nathan Bas
This is a gem in the sci-fi genre. If you like your sci-fi to focus on characters, rather than gadgets, you'll appreciate this exploration of human relationships and politics.Published 20 days ago by Stefanie K. Greene
Ursula Le Guin's landmark novel tells the story of Envoy Ai and his mission to the planet Gethen. Ai seeks to convince the inhabitants of the planet to join in interplanetary... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Ben Story
Definitely fascinating read for the sci-fi fan-- I love how the meaning of the title was revealed towards the end. Read morePublished 27 days ago by crazymom
a very unique look at the possiblities of the future of the human racePublished 29 days ago by longhorndaniel
I found the book difficult to follow in the beginning, but in the later half everything starts to come together and you really appreciate the ideas that are being played with.Published 29 days ago by Josh
A science fiction classic. It marked a shift away from rockets and cops-and-robbers in space and dealt with morality issues.Published 1 month ago by Robyn Jane
A fascinating book, very much like a documentary on a planet that doesn't exist. While the action is limited largely to an epic escape across an enormous glacier, the attention to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe LaCasce