Sword & Sorcery: "An earthier sort of fantasy" discussion

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Group Reads > Mar-Apr 2018 (a): Ursula K. Le Guin

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message 1: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Feb 24, 2018 05:31AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 1688 comments Mod
A) Ursula K. Le Guin - anything by her: A Wizard of EarthseaThe Left Hand of Darkness

July 2018, an omnibus edition with art by Charles Vess is scheduled.
http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2017/05/...

Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea Trilogy

A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2) by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 472 comments Some of her earlier work is also planetary romance.

Astounding as it may seem, she was referred to in her first days as the next Leigh Brackett


message 3: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 1688 comments Mod
I was lucky enough to be a on a panel with Charles Vess (World Fantasy 2016) regarding art in fantasy fiction. He was already deep into the project for illustrating the 2018 Earthsea omnibus. His comments focused on Ursula's wishes for Ged to be portrayed a genuine islander (not a white-washed protagonist as per the TV series 2004 on the Sci-Fi cable channel).

It has been decades since I read the original trilogy, as was too young to notice/remember the ethnicity of Ged. (1) Was curious if anyone watched that Sci-Fi show, and had feedback.

(2) Also curious, what non-Earthsea LeGuin work would be recommended? I've only read her 6 Earthsea novels.


message 4: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 906 comments Mod
The closest I came to the SyFy (well, I think they were still SciFi back then) miniseries was watching the trailer a couple of weeks ago; and just that much exposure was physically painful.

The Studio Ghibli film (Tales of Earthsea) was watchable at least -- it's Ghibli, so you're guaranteed lovely animation and a good score. But it also took more than its share of liberties with the story (which was mostly, loosely, based on The Farthest Shore).


message 6: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 1688 comments Mod
Sweet Joseph and Mary! ( love it when you two chime in back to back).

Didn’t know Le Guin had a book of essays; looks good enough to track down.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Hawkins (nihawkins) | 12 comments I was in the middle of Le Guin's No Time to Spare when she passed. Currently reading The Other Wind. Next stop is Language of the Night. I stumbled on that one in a used bookstore years ago.


message 8: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 1688 comments Mod
Nik wrote: "I was in the middle of Le Guin's No Time to Spare when she passed. Currently reading The Other Wind. Next stop is Language of the Night. I stumbled on that one in a used bookstore years ago."

Curses.... The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction is super expensive right now!


message 9: by Jack (new)

Jack (alamojack) | 544 comments She has another book collecting her essays about writing and books, Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with A Journal of a Writer's Week. If your local library offers Overdrive for e-books, check and see if they carry this title. Fortunately, mine does.


message 10: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 906 comments Mod
I haven't read all of Language of the Night, but I did read her essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", which I ... didn't completely agree with? Basically (and I'm going from years-old memory here) it laid out her contention that fantasy should be more ... numinous? Mythical? At one point she was kind of throwing some shade at one of Katherine Kurtz' Deryni books (albeit not by name), printing an excerpt from a council meeting and showing how with a few minor tweaks it could just as easily have been from a non-fantastic novel about small town politics or something equally mundane.

Which, on the one hand, I kind of see the point she's making, but on the other hand I think there's a place for both styles.

I believe that's also the essay where she counsels against avoiding the Lure of Dunsany, wherein one reads some of Dunsany's stories and finds one's prose falling inexorably into faux-Dunsanian rhythms.


message 11: by Mary (last edited Feb 26, 2018 02:45PM) (new)

Mary Catelli | 472 comments Yup. This is the one with the comment on "the First Terrible Fate That Befalleth Unwary Beginners in Fantasy".

He's not THAT bad. Notice that LeGuin imitated him herself. Even trying to write like that teaches you a lot about making words jump through hoops.


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Hawkins (nihawkins) | 12 comments S.E. wrote: "Nik wrote: "I was in the middle of Le Guin's No Time to Spare when she passed. Currently reading The Other Wind. Next stop is Language of the Night. I stumbled on that one in a used bookstore years..."

Ouch, yeah it is. I just saw some of the prices online. Bust out the library card!


message 13: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 1688 comments Mod
I watch a Vlogger who covers editing movies, and stumbled across an older one on the Earthsea adaption by ScyFy. It covers the books too as a foundation. 30 min of decent commentary:

https://youtu.be/ETVdtRvfhvQ
Folding Ideas


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Hawkins (nihawkins) | 12 comments I will check that out. I'm willing to bet their assessment of the ScyFy adaptation (back when it was still SciFi) is not positive.


message 15: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 906 comments Mod
Nik wrote: "I will check that out. I'm willing to bet their assessment of the ScyFy adaptation (back when it was still SciFi) is not positive."

All I've seen of the SyFy adaptation is the trailer, and that alone was enough to send me screaming towards the horizon.


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