Renowned fantasy and science-fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at the age of 88 at her home in Portland, Oregon. She is best known for her Earthsea series and The Left Hand of Darkness, though she published dozens of literary novel, non-fiction works, short stories, and poetry collections.

While the cause of death is currently unreported, Le Guin’s son Theodore said that the author had been ill for some time. Several sources have confirmed with Le Guin’s agent the author has indeed passed away.

Le Guin was a pioneer, not only as one of the earliest and most prolific female genre novelists, but also in her treatment of class, gender, and human psychology. Her legacy of inspiring writers and readers of all ages and walks of life will continue on. As Hugo winner Mary Robinette Kowal tells NPR:

“She was one of the first really big voices in science fiction and fantasy who was a woman. And I think she did a lot for science fiction and fantasy — not just for women and women’s roles because of her feminism but also legitimizing us as an art form. There are a lot of people who will read an Ursula Le Guin book and go, ‘Well, this isn’t science fiction, it’s literature.‘”

Several authors and colleagues have already taken to Twitter to mourn the loss of this literary icon:

Le Guin is survived by her husband Charles and her three children; Elisabeth, Caroline, and Theodore. 

About The Author

Sara Roncero-Menendez

A reporter by trade, Sara is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest schlock, all movies and TV shows are fair game. She believes Batman is the most fascinating superhero, and that Silent Hill is one of the best horror franchises ever made (as long as you don't count the movies). Fun Fact: The only movie Sara will not rewatch is The Room -- once was more than enough.