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Ursula Le Guin

After the death of Ursula K. Le Guin this week, it was heartwarming to see so many beautiful eulogies and obituaries. Rarely is a fantasy and science fiction writer accorded so much respect in the mainstream. I can add very little, except to say that in addition to her fiction, she was a fine essayist and advocate for the science fiction and fantasy genres. It’s out of print now (and expensive), but I highly recommend her 1982 book The Language Of The Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction.

On a more personal note, Amazon sales of my novels spiked yesterday and today. I had a busy day, and I didn’t have time until this evening to try to figure out what might have caused the spike in sales. Then I figured it out. I owe it to Ursula Le Guin. I run ads for my books on Amazon. The ads are displayed when someone searches for certain terms. For each of my books, I have 100 to 200 search terms. For as long as I’ve been running Amazon ads (going on two years), by far the search term that sells the most books for me is “Ursula Le Guin.” People who read Le Guin seem to like my books. Obviously many people have been buying Le Guin’s books this week. In searching for her books, they came across mine. I don’t claim to be in Le Guin’s league, but I do think we are kindred spirits — heretics, take us or leave us.

Thank you, Ursula Le Guin, not only for your books, but for having helped my sales. I’m not sure how to return the favor, but I think the least I can do is to write your publisher begging them to reprint The Language of the Night.

If you haven’t read Le Guin, I’d recommend starting with The Left Hand of Darkness. It was outrageously head of its time, first published in 1969.


  1. Jo wrote:

    There is a nice article about Ursula Le Guin in the New Yorker this week, written by Julie Phillips.

    Friday, January 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    I was one of those people who ordered The Left Hand of Darkness from Amazon.

    I presume the books they are ordering of yours, are book 1 & 2, you didn’t sneak another one in, did you?

    Friday, January 26, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

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