Ursula K. Le Guin’s Scifi Classic Left Hand of Darkness Is Coming to TV

Illustration for article titled Ursula K. Le Guin’s Scifi Classic iLeft Hand of Darkness/i Is Coming to TV

Ursula K. Le Guin’s award-winning scifi novel Left Hand of Darkness, one of the first and finest works in modern feminist science fiction, has been picked up as a limited television series.

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According to Variety, Critical Content has optioned the rights to the 1969 book from Le Guin, who will serve as a consulting producer on the project. Left Hand of Darkness is about a man named Genly Ai who’s sent to the planet of Gethen to convince its people to join a planetary confederation. However, he finds himself unable to do so, due to his ignorance of the planet’s culture. Gethenians are ambisexual, with no fixed gender identity.

The Hugo and Nebula-winning novel received critical acclaim as one of the first pieces of modern feminist scifi, and is considered the most famous exploration of androgyny and gender fluidity in science fiction. Given the success of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s no surprise that television producers would be eager for more shows that explore sexuality and gender identity. Still, it has received some criticism over the years— mostly from the LGBT community, which opposed the book’s seeming normalization of heterosexuality (Le Guin has since apologized for this).

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Tom Forman, Andrew Marcus, and Ray Ricord have signed on to executive produce the series, but there’s no confirmed writer or network yet.

[Variety]

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

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Jerk Dently

I haven’t read the novel, but it sounds interesting. Do the Gethenese (Gethenites?) not personally identify as a specific gender in a cultural sense? Or do they physically restructure their bodies as they deem appropriate?