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Science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin has died. Here she is in 1975 addressing the sexism in American the sci-fi genre:

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Male elitism has run rampant in SF. But is it only male elitism? Isn’t the “subjection of women” in SF merely a symptom of a whole which is authoritarian, power-worshipping, and intensely parochial?

From a social point of view most SF has been incredibly regressive and unimaginative. All those Galactic Empires, taken straight from the British Empire of 1880. All those planets—with 80 trillion miles between them!—conceived of as warring nation-states, or as colonies to be exploited, or to be nudged by the benevolent Imperium of Earth towards self-development—the White Man’s Burden all over again. The Rotary Club on Alpha Centauri, that’s the size of it.

Read the whole essay and more from a special issue of Science Fiction Studies dedicated to her work.


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Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3, The Science Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin (Nov., 1975), pp. 208-210
SF-TH Inc.