18 04 2017


Ursula Le Guin is my favourite sci-fi writer. Her immaculately-constructed worlds echo the goals and ghosts of the 1970s – feminist worlds, planets riven by capitalist-Communist cold wars, anarchist moons, environmentalist Vietnam War parables set in outer space – works of speculative anthropology as well as fiction, imagining how things could be.  Her writing is immersive, brimming with rich details as well as fully realised characters. “The Dispossessed” tells the tale of twin planets Uras and Anarres, the latter an outcast society on a barren world which operates without laws or governments as a kind of whole-planet kibbutz, fiercely protective of its non-hierarchical way of life. On its parent planet meanwhile, the wealthy “West” and authoritarian “East” fight proxy wars in developing countries and governments seek to oppress liberty, whether in the rich countries or the poor ones. A visitor from the egalitarian moon of Anarres must decide how to engage with this world or if it is best to leave it all alone and hide in isolation.




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