The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)

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Aubrey Absolutely. Le Guin said herself that, while the books of the Hainish Cycle are certainly interconnected, they contradict each other more than they…moreAbsolutely. Le Guin said herself that, while the books of the Hainish Cycle are certainly interconnected, they contradict each other more than they build each other up.(less)
Ivan All books in Hainish cycle are standalone and can be read in any order.
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K Walton I think it has to do, in large part, with Estraven's association between Genly Ai and his dead brother, Arek. Genly mindspeaks to Estraven in Arek's…moreI think it has to do, in large part, with Estraven's association between Genly Ai and his dead brother, Arek. Genly mindspeaks to Estraven in Arek's voice (indicative, I believe, of the growing love and friendship between them). Given Estraven's love for Arek, and his grief, I think that's an extremely painful experience. It's implied that Arek and Estraven were lovers, after all, and that Estraven bore their child, Sorve, which would've ended his relationship with Arek--incest being permissible on Winter until a child is conceived. Arek may have even committed suicide, an inference I make based on the parable Le Guin provides about the original Estraven the Traitor.

Secondarily, as Genly Ai himself remarks in the book, Mindspeech must be a truly terrifying experience to someone experiencing it for the first time--in particular someone who did not previously know it was possible. (less)
Hyarrowen Following on from Jessica's answer - platypuses lay eggs but are mammals, sort of, and have very dense fur. Their distribution includes the coldest…moreFollowing on from Jessica's answer - platypuses lay eggs but are mammals, sort of, and have very dense fur. Their distribution includes the coldest parts of Australia.(less)
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Charles
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