The Left Hand of Darkness

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Ace Books, 1987 - Fiction - 304 pages
1407 Reviews

When The Left Hand of Darkness first appeared in 1969, the original jacket copy read, "Once in a long while a whole new world is created for us. Such worlds are Middle Earth, Dune--and such a world is Winter."  Twenty-five years and a Hugo and Nebula Award later, these words remain true. In Winter, or Gethen, Ursula K. Le Guin has created a fully realized planet and people. But Gethen society is more than merely a fascinating creation. The concept of a society existing totally without sexual prejudices is even more relevant today than it was in 1969. This special 25th anniversary edition of The Left Hand of Darkness contains not only the complete, unaltered text of the landmark original but also a thought-provoking new afterword and four new appendixes by Ms. Le Guin.

When the human ambassador Genly Ai is sent to Gethen, the planet known as Winter by those outsiders who have experienced its arctic climate, he thinks that his mission will be a standard one of making peace between warring factions. Instead the ambassador finds himself wildly unprepared. For Gethen is inhabited by a society with a rich, ancient culture full of strange beauty and deadly intrigue--a society of people who are both male and female in one, and neither. This lack of fixed gender, and the resulting lack of gender-based discrimination, is the very cornerstone of Gethen life. But Genly is all too human. Unless he can overcome his ingrained prejudices about the significance of "male" and "female," he may destroy both his mission and himself.

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Review: The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle)

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“How does one hate a country, or love one? Tibe talks about it; I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on ... Read full review

Review: The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle)

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When first I read “The Left Hand of Darkness” – sometime in the Seventies, I believe – I was suitably impressed. On this revisit, I will still say it is a very good book, a classic of science fiction ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction Page 1 A Parade in Erhenrang
1
The Place Inside the Blizzard
22
The Mad King
27
Copyright

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About the author (1987)

Ursula K. Le Guin lives in Portland, Oregon.

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