In the latest Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, I join Anthony Ha, Lisa Yaszek, and host David Barr Kirtley to discuss Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, one of my favorite novels. What I love about the book is its fearless philosophizing and exploration of ideas, a trademark Le Guin feature. It’s not your standard action-adventure. Rather, the story is really about two different cultures, one anarchistic and socialist, the other intensely capitalistic, and a physicist, as brilliant as Einstein, who must travel from one to the other.
Here’s a few quotes from me from the podcast:
“After reading The Dispossessed, I was just blown away. It was just such an intellectual book. It’s so philosophical, and it was so different from a lot of the science fiction I had read before that. It made me want to read more of Le Guin’s work.”
“You sometimes get certain literary circles that pooh-pooh science fiction. Even in the New Yorker article, there’s a quote: ‘If science fiction was down-market, it was at least a market.’ And then the other quote was: ‘Her editor, Charles McGrath, saw in her an ability to transform genre fiction into something higher.’ They’re writing this profile of one of the greatest science fiction authors of the 20th century, and they still can’t resist shitting on science fiction. … If you’re ignoring science fictional tropes, you’re ignoring reality. We have supercomputers in our pockets that connect to satellites. We have artificial intelligence that decides what we see every day. We have video conferences. NASA’s going to the moon again, and we have a probe on Mars—helicopters will fly on Mars in the next week or two. We’re living in a science fiction world, and if you ignore that, maybe you’re the one who’s the fantasist.”
You can listen to the podcast here.