In many ways, LeGuin is one of the first gatekeepers of science fiction (see Castalia House and Vox Day for some evidence for this, as well as LeGuin’s own public words), and her short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” is entertaining and eerie but also shows a glaring blindness inherent in leftist though (real “good guys” would rescue the child, not walk away).
But come on, you can’t read this and not end up liking her. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I found it in the comments section of Mr. Simon’s equally brilliant essay “Why are Dragons Afraid of Americans”, an essay I will not link because you can find it in his book of essays “Death Carries a Camcorder”, which you should all buy immediately. Mr. Wright has been compared to a modern day C.S. Lewis, a fact which I have disputed. However, after reading Mr. Simon’s essays I actually think, at least in the non-fiction category, he may be closer to the mark. Vanishingly few essayists are better than Mr. Simon.
But enough about that. Just read Miss (Mrs.?) LeGuin’s short article! An excerpt:
Where was her copy of Ulysses? All she had on her bedside table was a Philip Roth novel she had been using to prop up the reading lamp. She pulled the slender volume free and raised it up between her and the ghastly golem – but it was not enough. Not even Roth could save her. The monster laid its squamous hand on her, and the ring branded her like a burning coal. Genre breathed its corpse-breath in her face, and she was lost. She was defiled. She might as well be dead. She would never, ever get invited to write for Granta now.
This is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time.