This novel and The Left Hand of Darkness are Le Guin at her best, and ample evidence for making the case that Margaret Atwood should shut up and let Ursula have her royalties for the 'not science fiction' stuff she allegedly writes. Very political, very societal in nature, Le Guin uses disparate cultures around a far star as mirrors to our own society. Le Guin's writing as the exemplar of just about the perfect mix of "literary" fiction and "pulp" fiction.
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Steve Davidson (Crotchetyoldfan)
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Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. he will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.