Andrew is presenting Critical Mass, 7pm at Kappys.
With great sadness we mourn the passing of Ursula Le Guin in January of this year. During her literary career she was won numerous awards. Including two Hugos (Left Hand of Darkness and Dispossessed) and four Nebulas (Left Hand of Darkness, Dispossessed, Powers and Tehanu); more Nebula awards than any other author.
There are many aspects of her writing that I appreciate, one of which is her brevity. Her novels are complete, each with a beginning, a middle and an end; offering intrigues, character development, and cathartic conclusions. However in comparison to modern works of fiction I find her novels exceptionally short. I often wonder whether novel length has evolved over time, or was perhaps Le Guin unusually concise?
To address these questions we examine the list Hugo and Nebula winners over the past 65 years, comparing Le Guin’s novels with other winners, and assess how novel length has varied over time.