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‘The Expropriated’ is still one of the most intelligent science fiction books

‘The Expropriated’ is still one of the most intelligent science fiction books


Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1974 novel Expropriated it represents a society without law or government, an experiment in “non-violent anarchism”. Author of science fiction Matthew Kressel he was impressed by the study of politics and economics in books.

“After reading it Expropriated, I exploded, ”Kressel says in section 460 Guide to the Geek Galaxy podcast. “It was such an intellectual book. It is very philosophical and was the difference of many science fiction I had read before. It made me want to read more of Le Guin’s work. ‘

Author of science fiction Anthony Ha counts Expropriated as one of his favorite books. “It would be hard for me to think of another novel that made a strong impression on me,” he says. “I was unbearable. I put budgets in email signatures, and for several years I later identified as an anarchist. ”

Guin, Who died in 2018, was one of the most popular authors of science fiction, and Expropriated it was one of his most popular books, winning the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Guide to the Geek Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley warns that issues of environmentalism, social justice, and feminism have had a profound effect on generations of readers.

“I remember when interviewed Le Guin, one of the things I asked him was that there was a story in the news that the protesters — the protesters on the left — were printing or painting these plastic shields on the surface. Expropriated“He says.” So really, in a very direct way, he inspired people. “

The moral ambiguity and deliberate pace of the book will not appeal to everyone, but science fiction teachers. Lisa Yaszek says exactly what these characteristics are Expropriated so distinctive. “That’s the favorite thing about this book, does it really show you that the process of getting to utopia is boring,” he says. “It’s so much work, so much talk, and so much thought. There is nothing Flash Gordon about that, I think it’s very nice. “

Listen to the full interview with Matthew Kressel, Anthony Ha and Lisa Yaszek in episode 460 Guide to the Geek Galaxy (above). And see some notable points in the discussion below.

Lisa Yaszek at Ursula K. Le Guin:

“I was in graduate school in the 90s, and I was working there Wiscon, the world’s oldest and largest feminist science fiction congress, and with Le Guin and Judith Merril“And by the way, the best breakfast of my life.” It will never be better than that day. It was a very interesting moment, and it made me want to go back and see Le Guin’s work again. … What I like most about Ursula Le Guin is that she is the best ambassador in the rest of the science fiction world. It has done more to show people why it’s an important genre — and perhaps the way we need literature to lead to a very uncertain future — that no one else will ever do. ”

David Barr Kirtley on Expropriated:

“One of the things I really like about science fiction is being able to see a society that never existed but seems to exist and see our society through the eyes of some hypothetical societies. And I thought this book did that very well, as well as any examples I could think of. .. One thing I liked was that [Shevek] he is amazed at how everyone works in a capitalist society, because he always imagined that the main thing that motivates people is the instinct to volunteer, and if you take that away – if people were working for money – they would be lazy and not ‘Don’t be motivated. So it’s interesting that they are in opposition to the ways we know them. “

Anthony Ha-k “To Read Expropriated“:

“It’s a 50-page essay where or [Samuel R. Delany] it contains a lot of details about other shortcomings of the book, which I think are real and we may not get into so much, but it’s very big – despite this “revolutionary anarchist book” – it fits into a very traditional heterosexual family unit that marries, and isn’t a weird character it is explained in a very compelling way and rejected in many ways. So there are a lot of things that are completely unbelievable. The way to end the essay is this: When you read someone who is young in the book, you will be absolutely amazed, when you are a little older and more sophisticated, you can come and feel disappointed. , but then when you’re more mature than that, you’ll see that the ambition of the thing is tremendously worth it. ”

Matthew Kressel on gender snobbery:

“Sometimes you get some literary circles with pooh-pooh science fiction. As well New York Article, there is a quote: ‘If science fiction was down in the market, at least it was the market’. And the other quote was: ‘His editor, Charles McGrath, he saw in it the ability to turn genre fiction into something higher. ” They’re writing this profile of one of the greatest science fiction authors of the century, and they still can’t keep up with the science fiction craze. … If you reject the tropes of science fiction, you ignore reality. We have supercomputers in our pockets that connect to satellites. We have artificial intelligence that decides what we see every day. We have video conferencing. NASA is going to the moon again, and we have a probe on Mars — the helicopters will fly to Mars next week or two. We live in a world of science fiction, and if you put that aside, maybe you’re all a fantasy. “


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