Ursula K. Le Guin Has Died & The Reactions Will Break Your Heart

The literary world was shaken up on Tuesday when news hit that fantasy and science fiction legend Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away. The incredibly popular author of The Left Hand of Darkness, the Earthsea series, dozens of other novels, and hundreds of essays and short stories, died at the age of 88 at her home in Portland, Ore. A cause of death was not given.

Le Guin's influence upon fantasy and sci-fi is undeniable. Countless authors — including George R.R. Martin, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Atwood, to name a few — have spoken about her influence on modern literature and their work. Many fans even believe that her Earthsea series may have inspired parts of the Harry Potter series. (The series is about a boy wizard who enrolls in a wizarding school.) Upon the news of her death, many authors — and and many fans — who found comfort, inspiration, adventure, and hope in her stories took to social media to share their reactions to her passing.

"I'm in an anonymous hotel room a very long way from home," Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, wrote. "So glad to have [my wife] Amanda and our tiny son with me tonight."

Daniel José Older
Nnedi Okorafor