An Open Letter to Ursula K. Le Guin

How to begin?...

Dear Ms. Le Guin? Dear Friend? Dear Master? Dear Teacher? Dear Intrepid Traveler? Dear Guide to the Sacred Worlds of Fantasy and Science Fiction?

(okay how about this:)

Dear Ursula,

I know how you hate gifts (because they cannot be reciprocated) and (probably) all forms of fawning gratitude on the part of your readers...but I have to write this. You see, I owe you, big time!

When I was a much younger man (more like a boy, really), I read A Wizard of Earthsea, and the subsequent books of The Earthsea Cycle. Your creation touched me in a way I can't articulate now nor fully understand, even after nearly forty years of being a faithful reader of your work. Maybe certain works of art are best experienced at certain ages? I don't know for sure, but whatever the reason, from that point on, I was hooked on your work.

I have read most of your major novels at least twice (except Malafrena and Always Coming Home) and with several favorites I have lost count. I have been with Genly and Estraven as they pulled their sledge over the Gobrin Ice and encountered their utter loneliness and their common humanity alike. I got to meet Shevek and to tour Anarres and Urras (how beautiful and terrible both worlds were!). I have loved meeting Orrec and Gry, and Gavir (such unexpected gifts you bring to us).

I have been a willing dreamer following your lead through many worlds both familiar and utterly foreign. Your work is continualy surprising, often difficult, and always worth the work. I really admire how you continue to stretch and to grow as an artist. Your writing just keeps getting better and richer, like a fine wine of The Andrades.

Thank you for sharing your words and worlds. You have literally shaped my thoughts and dreams and have inspired me to write. Like you, I hope to share the gift of story with others.

Thank You,

a humble fan,

William R. Cares


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