As a part of the Fantasy Faire LitFest, one day at Fantasy Faire is set aside to mark the life and works of popular writers of fantasy and science fiction. The roll call for this event so far reads:
- 2015: Terry Pratchett.
- 2016: William Shakespeare (marking the 400th anniversary since his death).
- 2017: J.R.R. Tolkien.
- 2018: G.R.R. Martin.
On Wednesday, April 24th 2019, the Fantasy Faire LitFest is celebrating the life and work of American speculative fiction icon, Ursula K. Le Guin, who sadly passed away in January 2018.
Regarded as one of America’s foremost writers of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish Universe, and her Earthsea fantasy series, Le Guin’s career spanned 60 years. During that time, she produced more than twenty novels, over a hundred short stories and many volumes of poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children’s books.
Her first published novel came in 1966, with Rocannon’s World, after she had faced around a decade of having her work rejected by publishers. This novel formed the founding volume of her Hainish Cycle, the fourth volume of which, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), propelled her in the mainstream of science fiction, garnering her a Hugo and a Nebula award in the process – the first of many awards she was to receive throughout her writing career.
The Left Hand of Darkness laid down many of the defining traits found within Le Guin’s works, which often include themes of cultural anthropology, Jungian archetypes, philosophical Taoism, gender and sexuality, moral development, political development and systems, and general sociology, psychology, or philosophy.
Today, Le Guin is rightly regarded as a writer who did much to bring fantasy and science fiction forward as accepted literary genres, and her work, ides and style influencing many authors in both fields who followed her.
Ursula K. Le Guin day will be marked by a series of special events, comprising:
- 09:00-10:00 SLT: Exploring Le Guin: A Brief Tour and Discussion: a “tour” of Le Guin’s lands, via favourite passages from her books – suggestions invited. Moderated by Aoife Lorefield.
- 10:00-11:00 SLT: Aoife Lorefield Shares Readings from Ursula K. Le Guin.
- 15:00-17:00 SLT: A Wizard in Earthsea Party: The LitFest Ball.
- 19:00-21:00 SLT: Seanchai Library present Celebrating Ursula K.Le Guin.
Don’t Forget To Vote!
And while discussing matters literary, don’t forget to cast your vote for this year’s King, Queen and Chancellor for Fantasy Faire 2019!
This fun (and fund-raising) activity lets Fantasy Faire visitors vote for the fictional characters (human in the case of King and Queen, strictly non-human in the case of Chancellor) they’d liked to see “crowned” at this year’s Faire. Voting is via donations to L$ Fantasy Faire, and this year’s nominees (selected by popular demand) are:
|Doctor Stephen Strange (MCU)||Arya Stark (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)
||Drogon (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)|
|Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride)||Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)||Falkor the Luckdragon (The Neverending Story)|
|Jareth, The Goblin King (Labyrinth and winner, 2016)||Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)||Kalessin (Earthsea series)|
|Newt Scamander (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)||Lyanna Mormont (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)||Paarthurnax (Skyrim)|
|Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire)||Moana (from the film of the same name)||Smaug (The Hobbit)|
|Toothless (How to Train your Dragon)|
To vote for your favourite in each category, visit the voting board on The Celestial Plain. Here you can cast your vote via a donation to RFL of SL. Just right-click on the donation boards beneath the nominee(s) for whom you’d like to vote, and enter an amount of your choice to donate.
You can pay as much or as little as you want but the more you pay, the more chance your candidate has of becoming King, Queen or Chancellor, as the winners will be based on the highest amounts raised for the nominees in each group. You can also vote as often as you like, as this is a fun activity to help raise funds for Fantasy Faire and the KNH Hope Hostel.
Voting will close at 16:00 SLT on Sunday April 29th, and the results will be announced at the end of the Live Auction.