Famous Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author Ursula K. Le Guin Dead at 88

Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away. She was 88.

News of Le Guin's passing was reported by The New York Times who reported that the author had died Monday at her home in Portland, Oregon as confirmed by her son who did not specify a cause of death.

Le Guin was a popular author whose novels, such as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Lathe of Heaven embraced the standard themes of science fiction and fantasy while also challenging other tropes, such as gender. Some of works were adapted into film and other media, including 2002's Lathe of Heaven which aired on the A&E Network.

Le Guin published her first book, Rocannon's World, in 1966 and would go on to be a major influence in sci-fi and fantasy. One of her most famous works, The Wizards of Earthsea, kicked off a series in which a boy who, after discovering his magical abilities, attends a school for wizards -- a theme that many believe had some inspiration on the wizarding school of Hogwarts in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Le Guin also influenced other major writers, including Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood, and countless others.

Le Guin won numerous awards for her work, including the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award for her work as well as the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Her work spanned all audiences, with Le Guin writing for both adult and children. Over her career she wrote more than 20 novels as well as volumes of poetry and hundreds of short stories and essays. Her most recent work, a book of essays entitled No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters, was released just last month.