Just finished reading this book and could not help but writing a review at 4:30 in the morning. Ursula K. Le Guin is a well known and accomplished science fiction writer. She stands out because her books go much beyond the ordinarily assumed reals of science fiction. She talks about society, gender, governance in other imagined planets and worlds.
By the time I finished the first chapter, I was already convinced of her brilliance and genius .The Left Hand of Darkness is a completely new variety of science fiction for me. A social science fiction. Its amazing! The book is pregnant with ideas. In fact there are so many ideas flooding all over, from the beginning till the end that one tends to get confounded. It shows the ripe imagination that she has. It is a complex book in many ways and needs a lot of brooding and thinking over.
It is the story of how a person ( an ambassador ) from one world goes to another where he an alien and is treated/mistreated among a variety of mankind which is androgynous. A society where his being a male is seen as perversion. Where a father is a mother and a mother is a father. Where no one is tied down as much as woman is and no one is as free as a man. Most of the story is a first person narration by two major characters. There are a lot of complex names and systems of the new world which one might take time in getting accustomed to. There are philosophical gems thrown in and there are some hopeful views of a society which is equal in all respects. She sees it and she makes us see it.
A delightful reading!! Recommended!!