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When I was an urchin, Ursula K. LeGuin's "Earthsea" books were a trilogy whose world was firmly categorized with the likes of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, CS Lewis' Narnia, and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain. In 1990, LeGuin unexpectedly resumed the series with Tehanu, which I rather liked as (imho) an elegiac postscript of both sorrow and hope, but which was widely execrated at the time by male readers on Usenet who thought that it "emasculated" the main hero from the original trilogy. Eventually, there was a fifth novel, The Other Wind, and a collection of short stories, Tales from Earthsea, but neither of those later books really clicked into my brain cell.

A few years ago, the SciFi Channel produced an execrable miniseries that was hashed together as a loose approximation of the first two books. It was produced by the same people who murdered MZB's The Mists of Avalon into a similarly distorted miniseries, and a lot of the same character types and plot twists seemed very familiar wrt that previous adaptation. By contrast, anything else would be an improvement, which I suppose is how I have to describe the anime movie Gedo Senki, whose bootleg DVD at our usual rental place was titled in English Tales from Earthsea but which is really a combination of the third and fourth books rather than anything much to do with the aforementioned anthology, and which therefore I'll continue to refer to by the Japanese name. Read more... )


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March 2013

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