Genly Ai is a diplomat of sorts, sent to observe the inhabitants of the snowbound planet of Winter. But the isolated, androgynous people are suspicious of this strange, single-gendered visitor. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. So, bringing news of a vast coalition of planets they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief.
But also something more. For Genly Ai, who sees himself as a bringer of the truth, it is a bittersweet irony that he will discover truths about himself and, in the snow-shrouded strangeness of Winter, find both love and tragedy . . .
First published in the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, The Left Hand of Darkness is a classic of science fiction and a masterpiece of modern literature.