This morning, I would like to pay attribute to Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88. If you are a lover of the fantasy genre, then you should know Ursula K. Le Guin and her work in the genre. I first came across Le Guin’s work when I was about 13, at the time I was reading the Lord of the Rings, and the Science Fiction Channel was showing a two-part mini-series, called Earthsea. Then when I was in college, Studio Ghibli released their animated movie, The Tales of Earthsea, where I was transported back to Earthsea and I enjoyed it.
A few years, later I started to read the books that were in the Earthsea series, and I enjoyed them and spent time studying them as to where I could take my stories and what I could do with them. She had a huge gift for writing, and she had a huge grasp of the genre. As one YouTuber put out there, if Tolkien and Lewis are the grandfathers of the fantasy genre then she is our mother. This is so very much true, for as she looked at Tolkien after reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, she said in an interview, and she said that she read the trilogy in four days and after that, she escaped into that world for days. She said that it was like a door had been open and she could see all the possibilities that could be.
As I became a student of writing, I found that she wrote a writer’s guide, Steering the Craft: A 21st Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story. Yes, I have a copy of her book and I read it quite often for guidance. Just as I use other works of fantasy, for guidance or influence when I get stuck with a story idea. The greatest gift that Ursula, like any writer, gave us stories that swept our imaginations, but she also showed us how we can learn lessons from the stories. If you take the Earthsea series, we are taught that life is important and there needs to be a balance in this life and on this plane of existence. But in return, for her giving these lessons and her work, she was told by her readers that the would return to the Earthsea books because they needed them in their lives. She was the greatest thing that she heard but she never knew that it was possible for readers to go to a book when they needed it in their lives.
Ursula, thank you, for what you have given this world and may you rest in peace. Ursula died at her home in Portland due to old age and declining health. She is a true legend in her own right and an influence in many writers of current fiction and fantasy. Furthermore, she won numerous book awards for her work. So this morning and throughout today we pay homage to her legacy.