Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin

A new documentary on the fantasy and science fiction author Usula K. Le Guin explores the evolution of her writing and the ideas that shape and define her work. Source: Bust.

Tom Churchill mocks up five of the most pervasive book cover clichés, ranging from the brooding silhouetted men of Jack Reacher-style airport thrillers to the bold full-page typography of literary fiction. — BBC Arts

This week, I began working at Cardiff Metropolitan University as an Associate Tutor in English Literature. It’s a short-term post that will span the Spring semester, and it feels good to be teaching again. I’m working with texts by Ursula K. Le Guin, J. R. R. Tolkien, H.G. Wells, Philip K. Dick, Alan Garner, and Umberto Eco, among others.

Having left a career in academic research back in June, I wondered whether I would return to teaching in higher education—it was always the part of the job that I loved the most. So, as you can imagine, I’m delighted with my new role.

ursula_k__le_guin_by_taros

Last night, I put the finishing touches to a lecture I had prepared on the work of American writer Ursula K. Le Guin. It was focussed on her feminist additions to the Earthsea series of popular fantasy novels. I then visited Twitter, and was confused to see  Le Guin’s name at the top my feed. With mounting dread, I saw her name was the number one trending topic worldwide. I scrolled down to see my timeline was flooded with notifications about her death, at the age of 88, among family and friends. It was a surreal moment, and it occurs to me now that her death marks the end of an era in modern and contemporary literature.

Recommended Reads: Hari Kunzru on Ursula K. Le Guin • Ursula K. Le Guin, Whose Novels Plucked Truth From High Fantasy, Dies At 88 (NPR) • Ursula K. Le Guin, Acclaimed for Her Fantasy Fiction, Is Dead at 88 (The New York Times) • The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin (The New Yorker) • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction No. 221 (The Paris Review) • 20 Author Photos: Then and Now • Listen to Ursula K. Le Guin on Celebrity Culture and Fiction vs. Fact • Ursula K. Le Guin on Racism, Anarchy & Writing