I recently learned about this feature documentary about Ursula K. Le Guin and the fundraiser that the filmmaker, Arwen Curry, is currently running through Kickstarter. It looks like a wonderful project, and Arwen Curry has been filming and working closely with Le Guin for a number of years; the film is scheduled to come out in 2017. The project has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, but to get the funds from the grant released, the producers have to raise the balance of their budget, which is $200,000. While they set their initial Kickstarter goal for $80,000, they’ve already doubled that, and with two more weeks to go, it looks like there’s a good chance they’ll get the full amount and then be able to focus entirely on finishing the film — I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll make it!
As anyone who knows me (or who’s read much on this site) is well aware, Le Guin is both my favorite author and my greatest inspiration as a writer. It may seem that I go on about her a bit much, but it’s hard to put into words the significance of the epiphany I had when I first discovered her work. As I mention in my bio here, it was because of her that I learned that there was such a thing as social science fiction, and realized that all these story ideas I had running around in my head fit perfectly into that subgenre. (And one could argue that much of my fantasy is essentially social SF with a fantasy-type setting and a few other elements that give it that fantasy feel instead.)
Because Le Guin writes both SF and fantasy and a wide variety of other things — including poems, essays, plays, contemporary fiction, and children’s picture books — she also provided an example of the kind of writer I want to be, since I’m interested in writing many things and wouldn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any category. And as soon as I was old enough to fully appreciate the brilliance of her style, it also contributed to inspiring me to strive toward that level of mastery as a writer. Continue reading