45. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – Crafting a Slow-Burning Narrative

The left hand of darkness analysis and book review by Jed Herne

The Left Hand of Darkness is a visionary sci-fi story about a lone human ambassador to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants’ biology allows them to choose—and change—their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely different culture that he encounters. Exploring psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness is as a landmark achievement – especially considering that it came out in 1969!

The Left Hand of Darkness analysis


In this episode, I examined how despite being very slow-paced (or, perhaps, because of this), Le Guin’s novel is incredibly engaging. Enjoy!

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Or click here to listen online.



Show Notes:

Read my latest space fantasy novel, Across the Broken Stars (out today!): https://jedherne.com/broken

Got thoughts? Email me at jed.herne1 (at) gmail.com – I love hearing from you and I respond to as many messages as I can.

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