Winter is an Earth-like planet with two major differences: conditions are semi artic even at the warmest time of the year, and the inhabitants are all of the same sex. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. And when a strange envoy from space brings news of a vast coalition of planets which they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief . . . 'The Left Hand of Darkness' is a groundbreaking work of feminist science fiction, an imaginative masterpiece which poses challenging questions about sexuality, sexism and the organisation of society.
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. he will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.
'Her worlds have a magic sheen . . . She moulds them into dimensions we can only just sense. She is unique. She is legend' THE TIMES 'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less than pleasant place to live: seven billion people jostle for living space and food. But George dreams dreams which do in fact change reality - and he has no means of controlling this extraordinary power. Psychiatrist Dr William Haber offers to help. At first sceptical of George's powers, he comes to astonished belief. When he allows ambition to get the better of ethics, George finds himself caught up in a situation of alarming peril.
When Sparrowhawk, the Archmage of Earthsea, returns from the dark land stripped of his magic powers, he finds refuge with the aging widow Tenar and a crippled girl child who carries an unknown destiny.
Haunted by dreams of the dead who seek to invade Earthsea through him, the sorcerer Alder enlists the aid of Ged, a former Archmage, who advises him to find the holiest place in the world, which holds the key to preserving Earthsea.
'Le Guin's storytelling is sharp, magisterial, funny, thought-provoking and exciting, exhibiting all that science fiction can be' EMPIRE 'Told with shimmering lyricism, this coming-of-age saga will leave readers transformed' BOOKLIST 'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER 'A tour de force' EVENING STANDARD The final part in the story that started with GIFTS, and the tale of Gry Barre of Roddmant and Orrec Caspro of Caspromant, two children with extraordinary powers. They play a part in VOICES too, the sequel to GIFTS, in which Memer, a girl who has grown up in a captured city, is part of the people's fight for freedom. And now, in POWERS, we have the conclusion to Ursula Le Guin's beautifully written, powerful and moving story of the Western Isles, a tale that will leave every reader begging for more.
The long-awaited new novel in the superb Hainish cycle 'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER 'Her worlds have a magic sheen . . . She moulds them into dimensions we can only just sense. She is unique. She is legend' THE TIMES There have been eighty requests to send an Observer into the hinterlands of the planet Aka to study the natives. Much to everyone's surprise, the eighty-first request is granted, and Observer Sutty is sent upriver to Okzat-Ozkat, a small city in the foothills of Rangma, to talk to the remnants in hiding of a cult practising a banned religion. On Aka, everything that was written in the old scripts has been destroyed; modern aural literature is all written to Corporation specifications. The Corporation expects Sutty to report back so the non-standardised folk stories and songs can be wiped out and the people 're-educated'. But Sutty herself is in for an education she never imagined.
An exceptional combination of history and mythology - 'an intriguing, luxuriously realised novel' FINANCIAL TIMES 'Subtly moving, playful...a novel that brought me to tears more than once. Lavinia is a delightful heroine' GUARDIAN 'Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn't be given, wouldn't be taken, but chose my man and my fate. The man was famous, the fate obscure; not a bad balance.' Lavinia is the daughter of the King of Latium, a victorious warrior who loves peace; she is her father's closest companion. Now of an age to wed, Lavinia's mother favours her own kinsman, King Turnus of Rutulia, handsome, heroic, everything a young girl should want. Instead, Lavinia dreams of mighty Aeneas, a man she has heard of only from a ghost of a poet, who comes to her in the gods' holy place and tells her of her future, and Aeneas' past... If she refuses to wed Turnus, Lavinia knows she will start a war - but her fate was set the moment the poet appeared to her in a dream and told her of the adventurer who fled fallen Troy, holding his son's hand and carrying his father on his back...