The Ekumen online community:

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January 6, 2002
October 11, 2000

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Last updated: January 6, 2002

Welcome to The Ekumen home page!

Complete information on joining the Ursula K. Le Guin online community, where you can discuss UKL with other fans and scholars by both email and/or Web, is available on the Online Community page.

Latest Updates: There's a brand-new (long-overdue) update on the News page, with info on upcoming and recent releases, as well as the two Le Guin miniseries in development at the Sci-Fi Channel. The Links page has been updated with a link to UKL's new official site.

With a Little Help from George Orr, or:
Why I Dreamed Up The Ekumen

I know what you're thinking, yoz. Does the Web really need another Ursula K. Le Guin site? After all, there are several excellent ones already. Laura Quilter's feminist SF Le Guin site, and Fredrik Petersson's Le Guin's World, just to name two. Well, you've got a point; nonetheless I'm motivated by some mysterious personal need to create my own online tribute to the author whose hauntingly graceful and eloquent explorations of language, time, gender and the nature of reality have so ineluctably shaped my own writing and identity.

In order to justify the endeavor, I'm hoping to offer some resources here that aren't available elsewhere: like the new Ekumen online community I've created on eGroups, and a "latest news" roundup that will be updated a few times a year.

Ursula Le Guin has been one of my favorite authors since I was knee-high to an Athshean, when books like The Lathe of Heaven, The Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea and the tragically out-of-print Very Far Away From Anywhere Else helped me grope my way through a terrified and isolated adolescence into something like sanity, calmly telling me things I desperately needed to know: that it's okay to be young and intellectual, that it's possible to turn one's difference to advantage, that our humanity runs deeper than gender, that it's always possible to find the way back to the center.

And along the way, introducing me to an intoxicating collection of people and ideas: among them Chuang-tze, Taoism, Percy Shelley, feminism, Kropotkin, anarcho-syndicalism, Victor Hugo, and believe it or not, The Beatles. (I had led a musically sheltered youth. I remember bicycling to a nearby shopping center the day after seeing The Lathe of Heaven on PBS to pick out my first Beatles 8-track tapes, with Ringo Starr singing "With a Little Help from My Friends" stuck in my head.)

I was finally provoked to launch this site by two recent events: the release of The Telling, Le Guin's first full-length Hainish novel in more than two decades, and the long-awaited release of Channel Thirteen's Lathe of Heaven film on video. Actually, I'd been wanting to set up an Ursula Le Guin page for some time now, having had a very fulfilling experience running the authorized site for my other favorite living author, Russell Hoban.

About a year ago I had the idea to start an online campaign to clamor for the release of the Lathe of Heaven film (which had been tangled up in red tape for two agonizing decades); I was going to create a FREE GEORGE ORR! Web page, complete with an Amnesty-International-style petition and a Photoshopped-up image of Bruce Davison behind bars. Of course I hadn't a clue that a very resourceful woman named Jane E. Hawkins had already beaten me to it, and having created the very ruckus I had envisioned, won George Orr's release in June of this year. Well done Ms. Hawkins, and welcome back into the light Mr. Orr.

At any rate, back to the drawing board: since I've been unable to find any evidence of a general Ursula Le Guin listserv anywhere, I've decided to set one up, as my gift to my fellow Le Guin fans (strike that–sounds kind of pompous - ed.) and a justification for this page. And since at the time of this writing I'm systematically re-reading the whole Le Guin canon, I could use a place to bounce questions off of other Le Guin readers.

So: this Web site is now the home page for The Ekumen online community. You can find information on subscribing to The Ekumen, and the community guidelines, on the Online Community page.

The other main thing I plan to do with this site is offer a periodic news roundup. It won't be up-to-the-minute; I only plan to update the news area a few of times a year. But it should provide a place where Le Guin fans can keep track of recent major developments.

But I've talked about Le Guin enough for the moment. Now you talk about Le Guin for a while. Welcome to The Ekumen!

Dave Awl, October 11, 2000


This page was created and is maintained by Dave Awl with the kind assistance of Tiua'k Ennbe Ennbe, E' nememen Asfah, Heather Lelache, Owen Griffiths, Estraven the Traitor, Odo, Yoss, Sparrowhawk, and a small band of Athsheans.

Any otherwise unattributed writing on this site is by Dave Awl and is © 2000, 2001, 2002 Dave Awl.

This site has not been endorsed by and is not affiliated with Ursula K. Le Guin herself. The owner of this site is not responsible for content of any external sites to which it is linked. The presence of external links on this site does not necessarily imply endorsement of or by those sites.

Comments, questions and inquiries may be directed to Dave at And you can always visit Dave's portal page, Ocelot Factory, for information on his other projects and activities, and clues as to why he's so comfortable referring to himself in the third person. Sad, really.