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By Gorthian (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

One of my literary heroes, Ursula K. Le Guin, died yesterday after a long illness. In her careful, forceful prose, and in her far-reaching moral vision, Le Guin expanded for me the concept of what a science fiction and fantasy writer could be. She was not the first great fantasy writer, but she was the first fantasy writer I encountered whose work had the feel of a high-literary novel. I’ll miss her.

Someday I’ll write a longer appreciation of her work in which I try to explain how meaningful her writing has been for me. For now, I’ll simply reprise the last essay I wrote about Le Guin, a post about her marvelous book The Lathe of Heaven.