Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 with a Journal of a Writer's Week by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Nonfiction nom for the 2017 Hugos, this collection of essays and book reviews are good for what they are, being honest and rooted very firmly in Le Guin's mindset and fierce defense of Science Fiction in general.
Hell, I was rooting for the same points the entire time! Mainstream Lit-fiction stealing old and traditional SF ideas and then having the nerve to say it's not SF and has nothing to do with it, all the while thumbing its nose at a long tradition is NOT COOL, yo. Give credit where credit is due. Don't write SF and call it something else just because you think the genre is trash.
No genre is trash. Individual writing can be trash, and that's true for EVERYTHING. But the converse is true, too. There are really fantastic examples of good writing everywhere, in any genre, lit-fic, mainstream, or any number of subcategories. Even erotica.
I added the erotica point and the rest is based on Sturgeon's Law, but we share the same point. Don't be a dick.
Le Guin's book reviews were fun for what they are. They're book reviews! I think there's some sort of website out there that is really popular for just this kind of thing... but I can't quite put my finger on it. Still, it's true that we like to see what others think about books both neglected and hugely popular. :) I find myself liking Le Guin more and more and more as I read this book.
Still, as a work of non-fiction, it's mostly just a collection of defenses and book reviews. Pleasurable for what it is but hardly more than that. I'm not being won over to a cause because I'm already a staunch defender, and I love to read book reviews, so this was, in the end, a light read.
Does it deserve a Hugo? Frankly... no. But it was fun and I'm glad to have read it. Did it serve to make me want to read more and more of her works? Yes. It did. I've just bumped up her Earthsea books. :)
View all my reviews