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!

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Show Notes:

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

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23 – The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 1 – Why Characters Don’t Matter

This absurdly funny sci-fi comedy is a fantastic example of how you don’t always need amazing characters to create an amazing story. Buckle up as we use Orson Scott Card’s MICE quotient to analyse what makes this novel work. And remember: don’t panic!

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Listen on Stitcher

Or click here to listen online

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Shownotes:

http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Workshop-stuff/MICE-Quotient.htm

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