In 2014 Ursula K Le Guin proclaimed that “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings.”
Le Guin, who died in January, was a giant of 20th century literature. On her shoulders stand not just classics of genre fiction but everything from Salman Rushdie’s postcolonial magical realism to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter mega-franchise.
Le Guin used science fiction and fantasy not as a genre but a “method”. Future societies, distant planets and magical realms provided “a safe, sterile laboratory for trying out ideas”.