We live in a time of riches, as far as fantasy book series go — tons of sprawling sagas are being told, by authors with a huge diversity of styles. But if you want a life-changing visit to a fantasy world, you can’t do any better than Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea. Here are ten reasons Le Guin’s fantasy series still rules.
Imagine police drones patrolling at treetop level down city streets, their cameras scanning crowds for weapons or suspicious activity. “Newsbots” might follow in their wake, streaming live video of the goings-on. Drones belonging to protest groups hover over both, watching the watchers. In nearby zip codes, drones belonging to real estate agents scope out hot properties. Robots deliver pizzas by following the signal from customers’ cell phones. Meanwhile, anti-drone “freedom fighters,” alarmed by the spread of cheap, easy overhead surveillance, take potshots at the robots with rifles and shotguns.
“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”—Muriel Barberry (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
“There are lots of would be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see…or to at least shut up about what you do see that’s different.” Stephen King, On Writing.
“Introversion — along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness — is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women living in a man’s world, discounted because it goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality trait, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.”—Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, one of 7 great books by TED 2012 speakers (via explore-blog)
When despair grows in me and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
What We Need Is Here
Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is here.
What We Need is Here has been in my thoughts a lot lately.
(Looks like I have a lot of Tumblr reading to catch up on! I haven’t been here in quite a while, except via Instagram posts.)