Timothy Reads: The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

Good evening one and all. Today my bedtime story is The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. I thought ‘oooh a horror story about some guy who gets possessed and then they get the demon out of him and there’s buckets of green sick everywhere and at the end they say ‘hooray, now you are dispossessed’ but no. It’s got a guy on a planet on the cover and the title isn’t a spooky font.

So the guy on the cover is a physicist and an anarchist, an anarcho-physicist if you will or maybe a physio-anarchist if you won’t. Either that is quite enough “ist” for one character.

Of course I immediately dropped the book on discovering it had politics in it. I will not abide politics in my science fiction. Science fiction should be apolitical and concern itself with mighty space empires and their impressive armies colonising new worlds and fighting evil aliens who want to destroy our liberties and steal my guns just like Venezuela and don’t get me started on California.

Anyway, not long after Camestros was shouting “Timothy did you put my book in the toilet!” And he was really angry but it wasn’t me and I don’t know how it got there but he still blamed me even though he didn’t see me do it and whatever happened until innocent until proven guilty? I am most unjustly persecuted.

As a favour to him because he was so upset and maybe threatened to tell Quillette that I’m not an actual professor of psychology and then they’d cancel my column on why evolutionary psychology proves that cats are better than dogs, I agreed to dry the book with my fancy Dyson hair dryer. Mine is in “tactical black” and I painted a Punisher skull on the side so that you know it is a manly hair-dryer for a manly cat.

Drying a toilet stained book is totes boring, let me tell you. So I read snippets. So the guy lives on the moon which is full of hippies but then he lives on the planet which is full of conservatives and maybe Russians. I don’t know how the Russians got there. Then he is on the moon again. Then he is on the planet again. Then the moon. Then the planet. Then the moon yet again.

By this time he is so dizzy that he invents a space radio so he can ring up the moon and say “Hey hippies I’m on the planet but watch out next chapter I’ll be back on the moon!” Or vice versa I guess. Anyway the Russians want the radio and so does everybody else, except the moon hippies who actually don’t like him much — probably because he keeps disappearing and reappearing all the time.

At the end of the story there is a space radio and that’s great but seriously she could have written a much short story that went “Once upon a time a guy made a space radio to talk to moon hippies”


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