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by Ursula K Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness


Published in 1969 this novel was so far ahead of its time it still seems ground breaking and is a supreme example of how science fiction can be subtle sophisticated and experimental. Genly Ai is a kind of interplanetary anthropologist sent to report back on the state of civilisation on a far flung planet. It is a cold and permanently wintry world where people are mostly androgynous, only taking on male or female characteristics briefly when entering a sexualised phase. Ai struggles to understand the politics and social conventions of a world where gender is so different in this novel which includes one of the most unusual love stories ever written.


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