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Le Guin reading story of Dira and the family (vampric) drank cows blood etc and villagers interfere to kill him. like a tick.

"That's the story my grandchildren like - kids love to be grossed out, don't they?"


Ant Dance. "hey, let me out!"
Name of the bear poem
Finders poem
(more poems)
Poem to the people who came before (to us)
"like the idea of a house"

Comments and questions from audience alternating between live and 2nd Life.

Q: grass dance poem. was it deliberate, to leave the space for us to imagine it?

Ursula: I like the idea very much! but it's a long time ago. I don't remember what I was thinking!

q from 2nd life - what's your impression or thoughts about 2nd life.

Ursula: my impression is that I'm seeing it at a rather difficult angle. *laughter* it looks rather like the campus of San Jose State!

Q: I have a three part question. First, do you think as Kesh?

Ursula: Ask one by one. My mind fails. But, yes, when I was writing the book, yes

Q: What about now?

Ursula: Sometimes.

3rd q: (I missed the question.)

Ursula: my involvement with Buddhism is very casual and personal. That one of the poems I read is Taoism. The language of the last poem I thought, reading it you're echonig Lao Tse. The gap at the center of things, that's pure Lao Tse, that's Taoism. all my books are fairly taoistic.

Hawk lightcloud has a question: your Planet of Exile is my favorite of your books, I never see it mentioned, what are your feelings about it?

Ursula: it was my 3rd published novel. a very long time ago. It was written by somoene named Ursula K. Le Guin, back then. *laughs* Any breakthroughs I made with it? hmmmm. With those early 3 books that all came out as ace doubles, I was learning y craft. it was less of a mixture of fantasy and sf than Rocannon's World. But I was getting more into science fiction and learning how to write it.

Cliff: It's traditional, anthrooplogy focusing on tribal societies rather than urban societies. I wonder if your decision to make the Kesh in the future low tech, if you were to write a future anthropology might you make them urban?

Ursula: I would question the term low technology. This is a high technology. They have everything they need - it is a climax technology. It is not showy, it is very green. It recyles constantly. In that sense I consider it a much higher technology than we have. I tried to invent a higher technology than ours. They are in control. people say oh a bunch of indians in huts. What? With washing machines? No. They are in control. We are controlled hopelessly by our automobiles and everything else we've invented in the last 150 years.

Aud: could you repeat that for the people in 2nd life? (laughs)

Ursula: What are they doing in Second Life? *laughs* Let's not knock them, they're our friends.

2nd life q: Are any of your books being made into movies? which do you hope could be?

Ursula: sometimes i hope they're not! *laughs*
Ursula: Lathe of Heaven... movie version. Not a great movie. But a good movie that's held up well over time.
Guy in aud: what about the porn version?
aud: Groans, gasps of shock
Ursula: Let's not go there, at all.

Ursula: I would like the Left Hand of Darkness to be a movie, but they just don't get it. They have problems with the androgynes and the snow. There's not a lot of snow in Hollywood. My books have been so mistreated! They take the names and the characters and they make a whole new plot! Neither of the Earthsea movies have anything to do with Earthsea! How do you get them to pay attention? They don't, unless you're JK Rowling or dead like Tolkien! I don't want to be dead like tolkien!

q: I want to ask about the city of mind. I noticed reading the book that people are getting information from the computer system but they've never talking to each other over it. Would people give up the internet? or was that a projection from before?

Le Guin This is of course pre internet.

(90% of the audience mutters under breath, "No it isn't", but I will give Ursula a free pass for meaning that it is before the Internet was in widespread popular use.)

Ursula: Why would you use computers to talk to each other when you live in the same village? (90% of audience sheepishly looks up from text messaging each other) They are more interested in being physically in the world than they are in communicating in their heads. When I wrote the book, people were not constantly sending out communications via electronic pulse. They did occasionally meet and talk. Their thumbs were not as important. *laughs* Or were important in a different way. I was trying to show a society with enormously different values than us. Take it or leave it though. You don't have to like them. I might go mad there, I'm a city girl. I don't always like them myself. But why not, we don't get that many {different persepectives}.

Hawk: How do you feel about your parents work, and your parents' invovlement with Ishi, have influenced you?

(Dude, most annoying question, imagine being as famous and successful not to mention as old as Le Guin and being asked all the time about something that happened for like 1 year before you were born.)

Ursula: Well, Ishi died in 1915. I was born in 1929. I never even heard of Ishi till I was a grown woman. And I learned about him like all of you might have, by reading my mother's book. My father didn't talk about it. It was a brief friendship with a bitterly unhappy person. My dad just didn't go back there. Of course my parents were a big influence on me, aren't everyone's? But I can't say how. It's a reasonable sounding question but I can't possibly answer it.

q: Which book or world is your favorite of the one's you've written?

Ursula: That's like asking me which of my three children is my favorite.

Some dude: So, which ?

Katrina: Deira whose story you just read. Thinking of all the people or groups or institutions might be symbolized by deira? What were you thinking, if you remember... were you thinking of an institution or a bad part of society that has to be smothered to give the people around them life.

Ursula: it's more complicated than you think. In the first place I'm one of those people I attract ticks. I go into the brush , I come back with a tick. In embarrassing places. They dig in. I have to go to the doctor and say I have a tick in HERE. And it started with a story about a person I know, an endlessly needy person. a black hole of a person. We all know a person like that. A tick is a useful metaphor, it is kind of irrestiable socially. The oil baron. They swell up. A tick is a useful metaphorical insect.

(da dwwweeeee, da dah dah dah!)

Ursula: The great depression, the 2nd world war, the war after war, then weird president after weird president, and of course the huge development of technolgoy in my lifetime. There's a lot to get into in a book. A lot of fantasy and sf is very open to reflecting political or social changes fairly directly sometimes. As we know sf in particular is a very powerful political form of writing. You can say a lot about the politics of your society by saying it a little bit slantwise in our sf. We all do it whether we intend to or not.

q strata About the city of mind in the book. Difference in how the Internet is used. Did you perceive the city of mind as a hinge, to facilitate the non-human cultures around it. Or did I just make that up?

Ursula: No that's perfectly legitimate and it's something the book doesn't talk about at all, there are not only many other societies all over the world but the city of mind may be in touch with other life forms on other worlds, but it's simply not talked about, but we know it's a possibility.

Strata: I found myself continually thinking of Brave new world and wondered if Kesh itself was someobdy else's world where people got put or whether they put people out somewhere else.

'Ursula: No. No, that did not occur to me at all.

Brad: Dispossed, role of sexes in society. Where do you think you've had the most effect on society and what are you the proudest of in that department?

Le Guin. Gee I don't know. It's very hard for a writer to say she's had an effect on society. Um. Again I'm going to answer kind of indirectly. I was very touched a while ago now were talking about the first sta trek series, I was at some meeting in san francisco and someone in the audience talked about why do people read SF? and one girl of 14 or 15 stood up and said, well I watch star trek because it gives me hope because there are all these different people meeting people from other planets and they all look different but they are all able to talk together. And my world they can't talk together. And that put it in a nutshell. Hope. SF does a lot of warning and shaking its finger and don't stand on Zanzibar but she was getting at just the idea that fantasy and sf present an alternative to the world as we know it, opens doors to the intellect and the spirit that you know, we don't have to keep the doors shut, we could live in a different way than we do. To have it lined out for you in a novel is very powerful! Anything but this.

q: I absolutely love Old Women Hating. That is a disagreeable story about old women hating each other. That was largely an aesthetic mood. One problem with utopia is the boring good people. I didn't want my people to be boring. I didn't want them to be GOOD. You had to be good in order to be live there. No. I wanted to show a society that was strong enough to hold stupidity and cantankerousness and not break down! so I had to have some unpleasant people in there and I enjoyed it throroughly.

Q: Very far away from anywhere else. My favorite. On a personal note I credit that book with saving my life.

Le Guin: Thank you for telling me that.

q: Are you familiar with the author of the book (something)

Ursula: No- but I have my assignment thank you!


*** I had to leave at that point, and missed the rest. I was so impressed as always with how gracious Le Guin's answers are to her fans no matter how awkward or shy they are, and how interesting she can make her answers from nearly any starting point. Grace and humor! I also like that she is not afraid to show a little annoyance. It is not all honey. I have to note too that I was skeptical of the 2nd life setup and many people were as well of the cameras etc. but I thought it came out very well, the 2nd life participation was fairly strong, and the feeling of tech and spectacle was somewhat amusing considering the "hot spots" and ubiquitous cameras in Growing Up Weightless, and also, since I typed like a machine gun during the entire panel and whipped out the camera phone a couple of times on top of that, I am not exactly shining with "living in the moment" physical world virtue myself. ***


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