PBS is shining a spotlight on the late Ursula K. LeGuin. LeGuin, who passed away last winter, was one of the major voices of 20th century American literature and helped shape modern fantasy and science fiction itself.

PBS is broadcasting a documentary on the author and her works, The Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin, as part of its American Masters series. The documentary will premiere across the US on Friday, August 2, at 9:00 eastern/8:00 Central in most areas. Please check with your local PBS station to see when or if it will be broadcast in your area.

British fantasy author Neil Gaiman credited Mrs. LeGuin with making Harry Potter possible. “I don’t think Harry Potter could have existed without Earthsea.” For many SCIFI.radio listeners, the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy was our first introduction to grown-up fantasy, with the training of the sorcerer Ged.

Mrs. LeGuin was nominated for the Hugo Award 24 times, and won seven Hugos. She won six Nebula Awards and nominated 18 times, and won 22 Locus Awards.

Her other awards included:

  • 1979 – Gandalf Grand Master Award, awarded by the World Science Fiction Society
  • 1989 – Pilgrim Award, awarded by the Science Fiction Research Association
  • 1995 – World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
  • In 2001 she was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
  • The U.S. Library of Congress named her a Living Legend in 2001.

Her major works include:

  • 13 novels in the Earthsea series
  • 22 novels and short stories in the Hanish Cycle
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • The Lathe of Heaven
  • Those Who Walk Away From Omelas
  • Planet of Exiles
  • City of Illusions

Ursula Kroeber LeGuin was born October 21, 1929 in Berkeley, CA, the daughter of famous anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber. She earned a master’s degree in French before marrying historian Charles Le Guin. She had two daughters and a son, and wrote over twenty novels and moore than a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, essays, literary criticism, and translations. She died January 22, 2018, at the age of 88.

We may not see her like again. It is my great hope that The Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin does her justice.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.