Mathew's Reviews > The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Oct 05, 2011

it was amazing

Ursula le Guin was among the serious writers in the 60s who took Science Fiction from the pages of pulp fiction, infused it with the passion and sensibility of contemporary concerns with feminism, racism, and democracy, and elevated it to something that thinking people began to take seriously.

The Dispossesed remains a classic - a rightful winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, it is one of the most profound and insightful explorations of the meaning of society to be found in the pages of modern fiction, not just science fiction. As ever, Ms. le Guin is fascinated with the tension between dualities - anarchy and government, utopia and dystopia, selfishness and altruism, violence and non-violence, power and powerlessness. Although one may detect a whiff of the academic in her treatment of these themes, still that whiff does not overpower the savor of her spare storytelling.

As much as I loved the brash galaxy-spanning stories of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, they never ventured very far beyond the tested formulas of space opera, however thick their intellectual veneer. I don't reread these stories now. But I keep rereading le Guin, and every time I find something new to think about.

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