Saturday, 3 September 2016
Ursula Le Guin hits the publishing nail on the head
This week's news that Ursula K. Le Guin is to receive one of the greatest accolades that can be awarded a living writer and have her work published by the Library of America cheered me immensely. By happy coincidence I've been working my way through the Wizard of Earthsea books this year, and just last week read her classic of political science fiction, The Dispossessed.
But the New York Times piece that covered the story also alerted me to something I'd not seen before: this video of her acceptance speech for the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the National Book Awards on Nov. 19, 2014.
According to the Times she spent six months writing this six minute speech - and it shows. It's a beautifully succinct and well-targetted broadside at contemporary publishing, and it directly captures the reasons for the existence of Unbound as a publisher - as well as the reasons that I'm publishing Midland through them.
If you're at all interested in the state of fiction and intellectual freedom in the digital age, please watch it. And if you haven't done so already, please pledge to support a book that is being written and published in defiance of these economic exigencies.