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Ursula le Guin, fantasy author, dies aged 88

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Award-winning fantasy and science fiction writer Ursula le Guin has died at the age of 88. 

Le Guin, whose books have sold millions worldwide and won her numerous awards, died in her home of Portland, Oregon on Monday.

It has been reported that she had been in poor health for some time.

Le Guin’s most famous works include A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in a series about a world in which magic is language-driven and scientifically precise. Published in 1968, it was hailed by many as a rival to J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin.

In 1969 Le Guin released The Left Hand of Darkness, which was subsequently reprinted more than 30 times. The novel is set on a planet whose inhabitants are ‘ambisexual’, was one of the first books published in the feminist science fiction genre.

In addition to more than 20 novels, Le Guin wrote 12 books of poetry, over 100 short stories, 13 children’s books and several translations. Together with writers Ken Kesey, Brian Booth and William Stafford, she founded the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts, and also wrote a guide for writers.

In 2014 she was awarded a lifetime achievement by the National Book Foundation.

Tributes to the author have been pouring in from both readers and fellow writers, including Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Laurie Penny and Stephen Fry.

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