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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
The World created by Le Guin is fascinating and believable.
At the same time, the story and characters are fully involving, with the book's themes enriching rather than dulling the reader's experience.
This book won the 1969 Nebula Award and the 1970 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year.
I recently disposed of my old dogeared edition of this outstanding book, intending to replace it with a Kindle edition. I was very surprised to find it isn't available in Kindle. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Cyd
As I write this, there are several trending news items on Facebook about nude celebrities. That seems fitting given the sorts of questions Ursula K. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Enjolras
I could appreciate the theme and the thought behind it. It was an interesting book with a few fleeting moments of beauty and familiarity in a strange world. Read morePublished 10 days ago by r. kopisc
The novel's plodding pace fits its icy setting, but the cool and intellectual narrative is ultimately overturned by an implicit and moving love story. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Oliver Castaneda
This is the "Opus Magnus" of Ursula K. Le Guin. Nobody before or after has written on such a topic woven into a sci fi masterpiece. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christian Berger
I first read this book when I was in my early teens, and I've come back to it now over four decades, always finding something new to appreciate. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Janine G.