It seems appropriate in the aftermath of her death, which occurred January 22, 2018, at the age of 88, to name Ursula K. Le Guin as the most consequential writer in the fantastic mode of the last half century. Her work spans a range from traditionalist European fantasy to hard-edged social science fiction on the effect of technology on society, without ever drawing a firm line between categories. Le Guin never disavowed genre, but refused to be bound by it. She used it as a tool to express herself.

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