LR Net was saddened to learn that the writer Ursula K. Le Guin passed away on Monday at the age of 88. Le Guin did much to revolutionize science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction over the course of her long and eventful career. She also forced the publishing world to reconsider (and take seriously) the role of women in fiction of all sorts.
But she was also no stranger to political and economic discourse. Not only did she address those issues in her writing, but also she actively called on other writers to consider alternatives to capitalism. In her acceptance speech when she received the National Book Foundation’s medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, she infuriated more than a few conservatives by saying capitalism seems “inescapable,” but, then, not that long ago, “so did the divine right of kings.”
LR Net hopes that Le Guin’s many heirs in writing and publishing will accept her challenge and consider a world where Capitalism/Neo-liberalism receives the challenge it deserves.
Photo credit: Marian Wood Kolisch, https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/3551195631Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)