Remembering Ursula Le Guin

News of the death, at 88, of Ursula Le Guin, has been extensively reported in the media today. She had been in poor health for a while.

Ursula joined the Gollancz list in 1971, and has been with us ever since, making her our longest serving author by some distance, and we are proud to be publishing two new books from her this year: DREAMS MUST EXPLAIN THEMSELVES, a selection of her best non-fiction, and THE BOOKS OF EARTHSEA, an omnibus edition of her famous Earthsea novels, illustrated by award-winning artist Charles Vess.

During her publishing career she collected almost every honour possible, most recently the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, awarded by the National Book Foundation. Her acceptance speech – typically generous and feisty – is here, and is well worth a few minutes of your time.

She was an SFWA Grand Master, and was awarded a World Fantasy Award for life achievement. She won many awards for specific works, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for the third Earthsea novel, THE FARTHEST SHORE, and both the major sf awards – the Hugo and the Nebula – for her two best known sf novels, THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS and THE DISPOSSESSED, both available in our SF Masterworks library.

Those of us who had the pleasure of working with her will remember her as a gracious and good-humoured woman with an iron will, gently expressed. She was by common consent one of the greatest – if not the greatest – contemporary sf and fantasy author.

This is a very sad day.