What we call fantasy now was once religious belief, or is still. The appearance of an angel or a djinn in a story means it will likely be classified as fantasy, but if you go by the texts of several world religions, angels and djinns are real.
Is a film about circles that loops its ending into its beginning more than a gimmick? Is a story about boredom that’s intentionally boring a big deal? Is a sprawling book about the sprawl of existence doing anything interesting? By its nature, Always Coming Home contains a kind of resistance that other books by Le Guin did not, though maybe resistance is the wrong word.
I wanted humanity to lose its sense of exceptionalism and specialness. We’re just one species out of countless others, and we cannot survive without banding together and developing a more communal mindset.
I look forward to reading more works of science fiction, especially space westerns, that can envision a future where tools of death, regardless of their shape or function, are not considered indicative of the “advanced” state of a culture.
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