Ursula LeGuin is one of my favourite writers, despite the fact that I hardly ever read poetry and fantasy and thus confine myself to the science fiction portions of her work. Even there the quality is a bit uneven (for example “Eye of the Heron” reads like a second rate LeGuin-ripoff despite being an original work). On the other hand when she scores, she scores big – even after nearly forty years “The Left Hand of Darkness” and “The Dispossessed” are landmarks of the genre and as an incessant writer she has published a number of immensly readable novels and short storys ever since (my favourite piece is “The Shobies’ Story” from the collection “A Fisherman of the Inland Sea”).
78 year old LeGuin also maintains an expansive presence on the World Wide Web , a small part of which is dedicated to the spoken word. I will never have opportunity to see her at a live event – Ursula LeGuin doesn’t travel anymore and even if she did it would be unlikely that she would come to Germany – so I really appreciate that she published a piece as “read by the Autor” – alas it’s not SciFi but fantasy, but I still think it’s great to hear the voice of a favorite author (and she has a good reading voice, too).