Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most acclaimed and influential science fiction and fantasy writers of the last five decades, and at this point it's almost impossible to overstate her contributions to genre fiction and to, in many ways, legitimizing genre writing as a "literary" endeavor. She's won multiple Hugos, Nebulas and World Fantasy Awards; written novels, short stories, poems, essays and more; and influenced everyone from Salman Rushdie to Neil Gaiman, and she's still a powerful advocate for the arts. FromÂ The Left Hand of Darkness toÂ A Wizard of Earthsea to her most recent novel,Â Lavinia, she's a treasure to all of us who love science fiction and fantasy.
Le Guin turned 85 last October, and in celebration of her long life and career, the BBC decided to prepare a little celebration in her honor with three different radio programs. One is a brand-new adaptation of her first threeÂ Earthsea books, another is the first-ever radio adaptation ofÂ The Left Hand of DarknessÂ and the third is a new in-depth interview with Le Guin in which she discusses her writing process, some of her favorite themes, her life as a wife and mother, and more. It's a fascinating look inside the mind of one of our most beloved writers, accompanied by clips in which authors like Gaiman and Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist David Mitchell praise Le Guin and try to explain her influence on them, as well as clips of Le Guin reading aloud from her own work, including her essay collectionÂ The Wave in the Mind.Â
For a little taste, check out this clip of Gaiman discussingÂ Earthsea and how it influenced his life and work, including his novelÂ The Ocean at the End of the Lane.Â
To hear full interview with Le Guin, click HERE. TheÂ Earthsea andÂ Left Hand of Darkness adaptations will be released later this month.