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The Lathe of Heaven

Cover for The Lathe of Heaven


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

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