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Below is the quote I sent to Larry Landsman, Director of Special Projects at the Sci Fi channel when he asked members of SFWA for comments on the 2004 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Earthsea.
The hallmark of Ursula LeGuin's work is philosophy. All her books are about
how personal philosophy shapes our lives through perceptions and beliefs.
In the Earthsea novels -- which really belong to the Intimate Adventure
genre -- LeGuin has given a typical children's coming-of-age fantasy the
rich thematic depths adults crave. In that way Earthsea is not unlike what
has become known as the Buffyverse -- the background to the TV shows Buffy
The Vampire Slayer and Angel.
LeGuin has been a huge influence on the entire sf/f field, but I am most
familiar with the affect that LeGuin's novel Left Hand of Darkness had on my
writing mentor, Marion Zimmer Bradley, (author of Mists of Avalon which was
made into a TV movie) causing her to write the novel in her Darkover Series
titled The World Wreckers in an "Oh, no, not like that, like THIS!"
response. World Wreckers caused me to write to Marion for the first time
and that brought me to become her student in the early 1970's. Since then,
my own published novels have influenced writers in widely flung fields, from
SF to Fantasy and out into Romance, Horror and Mystery. Each and every such
author owes something to Ursula LeGuin they may never know about.
----------------------end quote --------------------------
Note that the screen writer for Earthsea is the same person who wrote the teleplay for Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon TV miniseries.
The Sci-Fi Channel Earthsea Miniseries carries the following credits:
Produced by Hallmark Entertainment in association with Bender-Brown Productions, Earthsea is written by Gavin Scott (The Mists of Avalon) for executive producers Robert Halmi, Sr. (Merlin, Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm), Lawrence Bender (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) and Kevin Kelly Brown (Roswell).
For more on the connection between Star Trek and Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel see the essays I contributed to the two books, Seven Seasons of Buffy and Five Seasons of Angel.
Remember Gene Roddenberry wanted Marion Zimmer Bradley to write a ST episode the year they were using experienced SF writers -- and she refused. She felt television wasn't worth watching. Eventually, she did get a television set and discovered a couple of things worth watching. Long after that, she yielded to pressure to let them make a miniseries from Mists of Avalon. It also is out on DVD.
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