Brow Beat

“One of the Greats”: Writers Pay Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin

Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. LeGuin at the 2014 National Book Awards.
Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. LeGuin at the 2014 National Book Awards. Robin Marchant/Getty Images

The death of Ursula K. Le Guin has brought an outpouring of remembrances and tributes from her fellow writers, as those her work touched and inspired reflected on social media about her life and lasting influence. Here’s what the literary world had to say about her passing.

Fellow sci-fi writer and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman fondly remembered presenting a lifetime achievement award to Le Guin at the 2014 National Book Awards (where Le Guin gave her extraordinary speech about life under capitalism):

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Steven King called her “one of the greats” and wished her Godspeed:

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Margaret Atwood praised Le Guin’s imagination:

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Love and Treasure author (and occasional controversy-magnet) Ayelet Waldman was unhappy that Le Guin never received the Nobel Prize in Literature:

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Meanwhile, Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians, quoted an interview with Le Guin in which she expressed an interest in a different sort of Nobel:

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Percy Jackson series author Rick Riordan called Le Guin one of his biggest childhood influences:

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National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis was at a loss for words:

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Comedian and author Patton Oswalt checked in with another legend of science-fiction:

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Southern Reach Trilogy author Jeff VanderMeer paid tribute to the wide variety of fiction LeGuin wrote over the course of her long career:

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Le Guin’s death put fantasy author Garth Nix in a contemplative mood:

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Curtis Sittenfeld, the author of Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, wrote that it was an honor to have Le Guin pan her novel:

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Finally, in a lovely tribute in the Los Angeles Times, Old Man’s War author John Scalzi called the current crop of science fiction and fantasy writers “multiple generations of [Le Guin’s] spiritual children,” and expressed gratitude he’d had the chance to tell her what her work had meant to him.

I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without Ursula K. Le Guin. Not too many years ago, I was given the opportunity to write an introduction to a new edition of Always Coming Home, in which I got to tell Le Guin just how important her book had been to me. I was glad to be able to tell her.

She will be greatly missed.

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