As a writer of science fiction and fantasy novels, Ursula Le Guin has a mind capable of imagining entire societies that do not exist outside of the covers of her books. Her novels have had a heavy influence on conversations about gender and have opened conversations about the alternative points of view that surround us on a daily basis. How different could society be if taking on the alternative view was practiced, if it was the status quo when it comes to handling problematic situations? These are the kind of conversations that Le Guin has made possible through her fantastical narratives, and for such contributions, she was awarded with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2014 National Book Awards, which took place on November 19th.
Below is a link to her acceptance speech, which is well worth the six minutes of viewing time.
Click Here for the acceptance speech
Not only has she been a very visible person in the scifi/fantasty genre, she has also been verbal about the situation with Amazon, authors, and the problem of publishing these days. In an interview with Salon , Le Guin speaks about writing outside the “good vs. evil” plot in fantasy, and her thoughts on the hold that Amazon has on the publishing industry.
This week we bring you a round-up of the most interesting news and resources for publishing in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Heroes like Margret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, and Stephen King change the way we look at ourselves and the world. In these stories authors change the past or create new futures where anything is possible. A popular and growing field, we can see the influences of the genres everywhere in books, video games, movies, and many other forms of media. Take a look at the following links and dive into the unknown!
- Newbie to the style? SFE, the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, has a critical, scholarly guide to answer all your questions.
- The Hieroglyph Project, a consortium that brings writers together with scientific experts, examines the role authors have in world building and provides a space for positive collaboration. Check out their wiki with fascinating articles. Arizona State University has a similar project, the Center for Science and the Imagination.
- Richard Davies lists fifty essential science fiction books on AbeBooks.com.
- NPR gathers reader polls in their 100 best science-fiction and fantasy list.
- I09 is a great blog for anyone interested in the genre. Frequently updated, the site features stories on books, movies, and television. Take a look at their post 18 Predictions for the year 2013 from Science Fiction Stories to see what author inventions actually came true.
- Sciencefiction.com takes a more in-depth approach with their blog articles. Check out their book reviews and science sections. Alison Baumgartner writes a fascinating appeal for Ray Bradbury books to be turned into movies.
- Want science fiction in your inbox? Check out Daily Science Fiction, a website and email list designed to give you a dose every day. Great for discovering new writers!
- Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine comes out every two months and delivers some of the best short stories and anthology works.
- Every Writer’s Resource has a great list of publishers to go after for internships within the sci-fi and fantasy field.