The Left Hand of Darkness

TitleThe Left Hand of Darkness
Year for Search1969
AuthorsLe Guin, Ursula K[roeber](1929-2018)
Date Published1969
PublisherAce Books
Place PublishedNew York
KeywordsFemale author, US author
Annotation

Eutopia and dystopia. The novel is best known for its depiction of a hermaphrodite or ambisexual (both words are used in the text) society in which the people are neuter most of the time but can become female or male for a period with another person and can both sire and give birth to children. The novel is primarily concerned with relations between two countries on the planet and within each country during the period after initial contact with an envoy from off planet. A related story is her "Winter's King." Orbit 5. Ed. Damon [Francis] Knight (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1969), 67-88; rev. with the pronouns changed to they in her The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Short Stories (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 75-95, which has some revisions (see the note on 75); and in New Eves: Science Fiction About Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow. Ed. Janrae Frank, Jean Stine, and Forrest J. Ackerman (Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press, 1994), 301-16 with an editors' note on 200; and in Hainish Novels & Stories Volume One. Rocannon’s World Planet of Exile City of Illusions The Left Hand of Darkness The Dispossessed Stories. Ed. Brian Attebery (New York: Library of America, 2017), 923-43 with a “Note on the Text” (1083), and the original Orbit 5 version (1044-64). See also, 1995 Le Guin, "Coming of Age in Karhide."

Additional Publishers

Also published New York: Walker and Co., 1969. The New York: Ace Books, 1976 edition has an unnumbered six-page introduction by Le Guin which is rpt. in her The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction. Ed. Susan Wood (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979), 155-59; Rev. ed. ed. Ursula K[roeber] Le Guin (London: Women's Press, 1989), 130-34. 1st American ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1989), 150-54. Collector's Edition illus. Frank Kelly Freas and Laura Brodian Kelly Freas with an "Preface" by Joan D. Vinge (v-xiii) and the 1976 "Introduction" by Le Guin xv-xviii). Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press, 1992. The 25th anniversary ed. New York: Walker, 1994 contains an important "Afterword" (287-93) and appendices (295-345) concerning the issue of gendered language. The 40th Anniversary ed. London: Gollancz, 2009 includes an "Introductory Note for the 40th Anniversary Edition" (ix-xii), 1995 Le Guin (249-68), "Some Kardish Words, and Two Songs from the Domain of Estre" (269-72), and "Author's working sketch map" (273). The Library of America edition reprints the 1969 Ace Books edition; Hainish Novels & Stories Volume One. Rocannon’s World Planet of Exile City of Illusions The Left Hand of Darkness The Dispossessed Stories. Ed. Brian Attebery (New York: Library of America, 2017), 385-611 with a “Note on the Text” (1083), “Notes” (1090-91), and “Introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness (1023-27). The London: Gollancz, 2017 ed. has an “Introduction” by China Miéville (ix-xii) and the 1976 “Introduction” by Le Guin (xiii-xvii), albeit not identified as such. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Ace Books, 2019, with an “Introduction” by David Mitchell (ix-xiv) and an “Afterword” by Charlie Jane Anders (305-15).

Holding Institutions

HRC, MoU-St, PSt

Author Note

Female author (1929-2018)

Full Text

1969 Le Guin, Ursula K[roeber] (1929-2018). The Left Hand of Darkness. New York: Ace Books. Also published New York: Walker and Co., 1969. The New York: Ace Books, 1976 edition has an unnumbered six-page introduction by Le Guin which is rpt. in her The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction. Ed. Susan Wood (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1979), 155-59; Rev. ed. ed. Ursula K[roeber] Le Guin (London: Women’s Press, 1989), 130-34. 1st American ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1989), 150-54. Collector’s Edition illus. Frank Kelly Freas and Laura Brodian Kelly Freas with an “Preface” by Joan D. Vinge (v-xiii) and the 1976 “Introduction” by Le Guin xv-xviii). Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press, 1992. The 25th anniversary ed. New York: Walker, 1994 contains an important “Afterword” (287-93) and appendices (295-345) concerning the issue of gendered language. The 40th Anniversary ed. London: Gollancz, 2009 includes an “Introductory Note for the 40th Anniversary Edition” (ix-xii), 1995 Le Guin (249-68), “Some Kardish Words, and Two Songs from the Domain of Estre” (269-72), and “Author’s working sketch map” (273). The Library of America edition reprints the 1969 Ace Books edition; Hainish Novels & Stories Volume One. Rocannon’s World Planet of Exile City of Illusions The Left Hand of Darkness The Dispossessed Stories. Ed. Brian Attebery (New York: Library of America, 2017), 385-611 with a “Note on the Text” (1083), “Notes” (1090-91), and “Introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness (1023-27). The London: Gollancz, 2017 ed. has an “Introduction” by China Miéville (ix-xii) and the 1976 “Introduction” by Le Guin (xiii-xvii), albeit not identified as such. 50th Anniversary Edition. New York: Ace Books, 2019, with an “Introduction” by David Mitchell (ix-xiv) and an “Afterword” by Charlie Jane Anders (305-15). HRC, MoU-St, PSt

Eutopia and dystopia. The novel is best known for its depiction of a hermaphrodite or ambisexual (both words are used in the text) society in which the people are neuter most of the time but can become female or male for a period with another person and can both sire and give birth to children. The novel is primarily concerned with relations between two countries on the planet and within each country during the period after initial contact with an envoy from off planet. A related story is her “Winter’s King.” Orbit 5. Ed. Damon [Francis] Knight (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969), 67-88; rev. with the pronouns changed to they in her The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: Short Stories (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 75-95, which has some revisions (see the note on 75); in New Eves: Science Fiction About Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow. Ed. Janrae Frank, Jean Stine, and Forrest J. Ackerman (Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press, 1994), 301-16 with an editors’ note on 200; and in Hainish Novels & Stories Volume One. Rocannon’s World Planet of Exile City of Illusions The Left Hand of Darkness The Dispossessed Stories. Ed. Brian Attebery (New York: Library of America, 2017), 923-43 with a “Note on the Text” (1083), and the original Orbit 5 version (1044-64).  See also, 1995 Le Guin, “Coming of Age in Karhide.” Female author.