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Ekumen News Update for January 6, 2002

The Other Wind
One of the many stunningly good
Le Guin books published since
the last time I updated this page

Okay, so I haven't exactly been on the beam about keeping this page up to date... it's been more than a year since I launched the site and a LOT has happened in Le Guin Land. Since it looks like I'll only be updating this once or twice a year, I'm going to just focus on the big stuff (recent and forthcoming releases, etc.) If you want fine detailed news, come join The Ekumen online community, where 100+ members keep track of (and discuss) just about every i that UKL dots.

First off, note that UKL now has an official Web site... designed by Vonda McIntyre, no less! It's a thing of great beauty. You'll find news, excerpts, an appearance schedule, and even a truly hilarious rejection letter. Check it out at:


The Sci-Fi Channel reportedly has not one but two Le Guin miniseries in development: an adaptation of The Left Hand of Darkness due out in 2003, as well as a six-hour, "big budget" miniseries based on the first trilogy of Earthsea books. Here's an article about the Earthsea series. According to this page, Lord of the Rings screenwriter Phillippa Boyens has been signed on for the Earthsea script. Having very much enjoyed The Sci-Fi Channel's recent adaptation of Dune, I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll do with UKL's books.


The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
Publication Date: March, 2002
384 pages.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance proof copy of this due to the kindness of a librarian friend who knows what a huge Le Guin fan I am. It's an anthology of SF stories (and one novella)...the pub date and page count above are from said proof copy. UKL says in the foreword that six of the eight stories take place on worlds of the Ekumen. The stories themselves take us to some of the worlds we've visited in other Hainish/Ekumen books - Gethen, O, Werel #2 - and the novella, "Paradises Lost," takes place in an alternate, non-Ekumen universe. Everything but "Paradises Lost" and the new Foreword are listed as having previously appeared elsewhere (between 1994-2000).

The table of contents is as follows:

  • Foreword (new)
  • Coming of Age in Karhide
  • The Matter of Seggri
  • Unchosen Love
  • Mountain Ways
  • Solitude
  • Old Music and the Slave Women
  • The Birthday of the World
  • Paradises Lost (previously unpublished)

Other than that, I'll just say that as of this writing I'm about a quarter of the way through it and enjoying it immensely... the trip inside a Gethenian kemmerhouse alone is worth the price of admission.


The Other Wind (September, 2001)
Harcourt, Inc.
246 pages.

The fifth of UKL's Earthsea novels is a beautifully crafted, deeply satisfying return to Earthsea, picking up where Tehanu left off. In my opinion, it's Le Guin's best book since Four Ways to Forgiveness, and it's my second favorite in the Earthsea series, right after Wizard. Sublime.

Tales from Earthsea (May, 2001)
Harcourt, Inc.
296 pages

A lovely collection of stories set in Earthsea, developing and filling in the history of Earthsea and setting the stage for The Other Wind.

The Telling (September, 2000)
Harcourt, Inc.
264 pages.

A new Ekumen novel that offers a pointed and thoughtful critique of global corporate culture while examining the interplay between politics, religion and culture. At times it borders on the didactic, but its heart is always in the right place; UKL's keen insight into human behavior and relationships keeps it grounded, and her sly digs at Starbucks are deliciously amusing.

Previous News Updates:

If you know of Ursula K. Le Guin news items that should be on this page, by all means send them to me at: