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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:25 am 
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Aagragaah
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Both of those stories made an impression on me. I forgot that the oak story was hers.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:03 am 
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That story is incredible.

I finished Dispossessed yesterday. Oh my. What a book. I was worried about reading book 5 of a series before reading 1-4, but after hearing everyone here talk about that book, I couldn't wait.

I could not fall asleep with all the ideas from that book swirling in my head. I finally got anarchy (never did before). Also got the perspective of many people in the Midwest & their feelings about "federal land".

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Trouble began, and not for the first time, with an apple. (Terry Pratchett)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:26 am 
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I think Dispossessed is a standalone.* I'm glad you enjoyed it. I first read it at 15 and it knocked me sideways. I'd been reading a lot of Heinlein, with its strong subtext of conservative/libertarian views; SF then, at least the legacy books, was more in that direction than in Le Guin's, or else was neutral. So it was a revelation that you could use SF to show another approach to life. There were not many women writing SF then, which may have been part of it.

I reread it again last year (I've read it at least five times), and it still moves me.

Now, of course, the politics of SF in general are all over the map. I like it better. The Red Scare and the Cold War didn't do classic 1950s-1960s SF any favors.

(A little thing I did notice—Le Guin did become rather more intentional in how she portrayed women, and how often she did, between The Dispossessed and, say, Tehanu.)

*I just remembered the books they're selling now are all numbered as part of "The Hainish Cycle," but they aren't really a linear story at all; they just take place on various worlds in the same imagined future. I read them in the order I found them and was not confused.)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Aagragaah
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Primula Baggins wrote:
(A little thing I did notice—Le Guin did become rather more intentional in how she portrayed women, and how often she did, between The Dispossessed and, say, Tehanu.)


Indeed. Even starker contrast between A Wizard of Earthsea and Tehanu. I love the book, but the portrayal of female characters is very fantasy-trope.

Apart from the Earthsea cycle, I can't think of any Le Guin's books that depend on a continuity.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:54 am 
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I'm reading A wizard of Earthsea and I see what you mean. It's also obvious that it's one of her early books. After reading the dispossessed, and the Western Shore trilogy (those were great), I'm finding this really heavy going

BUT - I will persevere. Because I have much to look forward to....

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Trouble began, and not for the first time, with an apple. (Terry Pratchett)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:22 pm 
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I found the first one to be the weakest of the Earthsea books. Each book improves on the one before. For me, the pinnacle is the fourth, Tehanu, written much later and more adult. The central character is a woman, and the book is about women's lives. It's emphatically feminist, and also moving in terms of what happens to the characters, including Ged, who is a major character but no longer the focus.

However, it's a polarizing book, and many people dislike it.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:47 pm 
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I feel that Tehanu is a better book but the Wizard is a better tale.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:18 pm 
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That's a good way to put it, Frelga. Tales aren't often improved by the passion of their authors. But I'd rather read the work of a passionate author than a dispassionate piece of pure entertainment.

I don't think the Wizard is dispassionate. Her heart was definitely in it. Her battles in edition after edition to have Ged appear on covers and in illustrations as she described him—as a man with dark brown skin—show part of what she was trying to accomplish. Her utter revulsion at the TV movie adaptation that came out a few years ago was memorable. It was mostly the second book and had a pretty, vacuous blond Ged and a sexy Tehanu. And all the moral depth of the story was gone.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:04 am 
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Book 2-4 of Earthsea are not available at eNYPL. :( Looks like I will have to buy them, and the Kindle versions are more expensive than the paperback. Ah well.

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Trouble began, and not for the first time, with an apple. (Terry Pratchett)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:12 am 
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I read 1 and 2 of Earthsea long ago, and then couldn't find the rest. Now that Kindle is a thing, maybe I should try again...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:44 pm 
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I just finished 2 of Earth Sea & really liked it. Started 3 last night, a great start to that too. Had to sleep (boo!)

I bought 2 during prime deal day & got 40% off on 3. Yay.

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Trouble began, and not for the first time, with an apple. (Terry Pratchett)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:14 pm 
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I thought we had a thread about The Martian, but I couldn't find it. :?

Anyway, I just popped in to say I'm hooked on it and recommend it to all of you.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:47 am 
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I do, too. He has a new one coming out later this year (Artemis: A Novel, due out November 14th). I've preordered it.

Characterization and deep emotional insight are not really a thing in The Martian, but the man knows how to plot a story. It's gripping, chilling, and funny. Worth your time even if you've seen the movie; the book has more detail. And more laughs.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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