Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park Is a Terrible Masterpiece

@johnsloan—I feel that nostalgia driving me when I read it too. I can't get enough! But partly for that and my distance from it as an adult, I don't think I'd recommend it to many people unless I knew they could tolerate the pulpiness.

Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park Is a Terrible Masterpiece

@Nicole—just want to clarify: I say above that Crichton was a "sexually unimaginative [version of] Nora Roberts," not that Nora Roberts is herself unimaginative. I apologize if my grammar didn't make that clear!

The Beginning Place: Le Guin’s Portal Fantasy in Search of the Ain Country

@Aonghus -- the only thing that stopped me from reading a corollary between Hugh's mother and the dragon is that, when Irena used a feminine pronouns for the dragon, Hugh responded with shock, something like, "It was a girl to you?" So I had imagined that Hugh saw something else, since we really only see the dragon described from Irena's perspective (or, at that point in the story, a weird blended perspective that loses sight of the earlier chapters' strict split between viewpoints).

The Word for World Is Forest: Ecology, Colonialism, and the Protest Movement

#6 — not sure what to say, except that I’m not sure we read the same novel, since the violence of resistance clearly negatively impacts Seller’s sense of identity and radically changes Athshean society as they knew it, but moreover, the “cardboard villain” is hardly different from the genocidal maniacs who built empires. There are no universals of the human condition, nor is tribalism a particular useful way of understanding conflict, since it is itself a scapegoating colonialist concept. I can understand if the book as story/novel didn’t work for you, but I think maybe it deserves a reread with the anti-war and environmentalist movements in mind. ;-) Allegory, yes, but disgustingly more realistic than I think many care to admit.

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters, Part I: Le Guin’s Early Stories and Germinative Tales

@ecbatan I totally agree that it’s an awesome cover! Maybe I’ll have to reread and rethink on “Winter’s King”; I might’ve missed something, but I certainly thought it had the same lyrical beauty of LHoD, which makes sense if she were writing them at the same time-ish. As for “most famous,” you might be right re: “The Day Before the Revolution”; I do think some later stories like “Sur” are quite well-known but Le Guin aficionados.

Twelve Quarters is certainly a great collection, though for me I think I’d probably say Butler’s Bloodchild is a go-to “best” in that category for me if we’re talking single-authored collections.

Thanks for reading, Rich!

The Word for World Is Forest: Ecology, Colonialism, and the Protest Movement

I love the bitter pill and the sound of the grinding ax. Bring it on, Le Guin!

The Lathe of Heaven: Le Guin’s Trippy Local SF Novel About Reality

Vincent said:

To me the main message of the book is a warning against power. Specifically it is a condemnation of centralized planning and the imposition of simplistic solutions to complex social problems. Dr. Haber is not a villain because he is malicious. He is a do-gooder who does not recognize his own limits, who brushes off the problems created by his exercise of power and who tries to solve them by exercising more power.

No argument from me!

The Tombs of Atuan: Power, Ideology, and Becoming Uneaten

5. tehanuw

A quibble:  Karhide is the country of Estraven in The Left Hand of Darkness, not the “Kargish lands.”

Ha, totally my bad. Thanks for catching. It's fixed.

A Wizard of Earthsea: The Unsung Song of the Shadow

@20 -- And leads to Harry being an ultimately (for me) rather unlikable charracter.

A Wizard of Earthsea: The Unsung Song of the Shadow

@15. Dr. Thanatos -- I hear you re: D&D circulating on campuses in the late 1970s, but I don't think D&D made a widespread cultural impact until the 1980s, in the same way that Tolkien (though published and certainly read in the 1950s) didn't make his impact until the 1960s.

A Wizard of Earthsea: The Unsung Song of the Shadow

@9. tehanuw -- Just wanted to say that sentence you commented on is not me speaking, it's a distillation of a general sentiment regarding genre that is held, sadly, by a great many (then and now). So I can't really be said to speak for myself there ;-)

The Left Hand of Darkness, Part I: Cold and Only Just Now Getting to War

 @3 -- Le Guin's language is def. beautiful, and others do a good job of looking at her poetics; it's just not my thing as a critic. I do think it would be an equal disservice to deemphasize her ideas. Novels are nothing if they aren't about something, and there is no aesthetics without politics or deeper meaning. Le Guin, for me, is deeply emotive, so I agree with you there! There's a feeling to reading her, and those feelings mean something.

@5 -- *high-five!*

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