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The Lathe of Heaven

  • Au­thor: Ur­su­la K. Le Guin
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    I thought I had read ev­ery­thing by LeGuin. I some­how missed this one.

    It gets four stars be­­cause... come on, clas­sic LeGuin.

    The sto­ry is con­­cep­­tu­al­­ly good, and the de­liv­ery is up to her usu­al stan­­dard­­s. One thing that bugged me a lit­­tle was the malthu­sian pes­simism was a bit over the top.

    The au­thor imag­ines a world with sev­en bil­lion peo­­ple in it (like we have now!) so here's a ran­­dom list of what that world is like:

    * Ram­­pant green­­house ef­­fect

    * Grain is so ex­pen­­sive and scarce there's no whiskey any­­more

    * No cars be­­cause no oil

    * Port­­land, Ore­­gon is an over­pop­u­lat­ed hel­l­­hole where lawyers work out of con­vert­ed park­ing build­ings.

    * Mas­­sive famines (92% of world pop­u­la­­tion!)

    * Rick­­ets and scurvy are ram­­pant in the US

    * Over­pop­u­la­­tion makes ev­ery­one feel cramped all the time

    And so on and so forth