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Posts Tagged ‘ursula k le guin’

What’s the Beyond Binaries Book Club?

Our Feb/Mar 2016 book was Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

The review contains spoilers.

The novel follows the story of Genly Ai, a native of Earth (referred to as “Terra” in the novel), who is sent to the planet of Gethen as an envoy of the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets. Ai’s mission is to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen, but he is stymied by his lack of understanding of Gethenian culture. Individuals on Gethen are “ambisexual”, with no fixed gender identity, a fact which has a strong influence on the culture of the planet, and creates a large barrier for Ai, a male raised on Earth. –Wikipedia (that’s how hard it is to find a short description!)
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Ann Leckie herself recommended it to me. In person. LeftHandOfDarkness-ebook

We wrapped up Imperial Radch, and now we’re time-traveling back to 1969, the year Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness was published. This work fits our theme by featuring an entire planet of “ambisexual” (bigender and bisexual) humans, who are androgynous for most of the month except when in “kemmer,” during which time they essentially develop genitalia and hook up with each other.

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