Challenge Update –

Left Hand of Darkness

It’s been a little over a year since I began my science fiction reading challenge. I used to be an avid reader devouring three to four books a month. As my responsibilities and priorities changed, reading for pleasure was sacrificed. I looked on this challenge as a way to get back into the groove of reading while expanding my knowledge of the sci fi verse.

It’s been a slow summer and fall for my reading challenge. I have read quite a few books over the past year but only a few from the challenge. As an aside I highly recommend Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead. A fascinating book of essays from an American original.

After finishing the wonderful Foundation Trilogy, I dove into American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it and quickly set it aside. It’s one of those books that it’s so layered that I must be in the right frame of mind to read. I’ll try and finish it but right now it’s at the bottom of the pile.

Next up was Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. Left Hand tells the tale of an Ambassador Genly Ai sent to Winter to see if it’s citizens are interested in joining the planetary collective called Ekumen. The plot weaves its way through several cycles on the planet. Alone Genly Ai must deal with strange customs and xenophobia during his travels among the different nation states of Winter. Ms. Le Guin creates an unique world unlike any I have read about before. The people of Winter are what stood for me. They are gender neutral society who only choose a sexual identity when during the state of procreation. The concept of these ambiguous people really blew my mind. To live in a society were gender roles does not influence ones’ social interactions sounds liberating. Can’t wait fornthe next book in the series.

However, up next for the challenge is I, Robot. An nice Asimov novel to cleanse the palette.

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