As a writer of science fiction and fantasy novels, Ursula Le Guin has a mind capable of imagining entire societies that do not exist outside of the covers of her books. Her novels have had a heavy influence on conversations about gender and have opened conversations about the alternative points of view that surround us on a daily basis. How different could society be if taking on the alternative view was practiced, if it was the status quo when it comes to handling problematic situations? These are the kind of conversations that Le Guin has made possible through her fantastical narratives, and for such contributions, she was awarded with the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2014 National Book Awards, which took place on November 19th.

Below is a link to her acceptance speech, which is well worth the six minutes of viewing time. ursula_leguin

Click Here for the acceptance speech

Not only has she been a very visible person in the scifi/fantasty genre, she has also been verbal about the situation with Amazon, authors, and the problem of publishing these days. In an interview with Salon , Le Guin speaks about writing outside the “good vs. evil” plot in fantasy, and her thoughts on the hold that Amazon has on the publishing industry.