A beautiful story about the nature of reality, control/corruption and the pursuit of a better life. All told with such brevity and class you wonder if it's some kind of concentrated fever dream you once had. Or a nightmare. One of my favorites and always worth revisiting every year.
The Locus Award-winning science fiction novel by legendary author Ursula K. Le Guin, set in a world where one man’s dreams rewrite the future.
During a time racked by war and environmental catastrophe, George Orr discovers his dreams alter reality. George is compelled to receive treatment from Dr. William Haber, an ambitious sleep psychiatrist who quickly grasps the immense power George holds. After becoming adept at manipulating George’s dreams to reshape the world, Haber seeks the same power for himself. George—with some surprising help—must resist Haber’s attempts, which threaten to destroy reality itself.
A classic of the science fiction genre, The Lathe of Heaven is prescient in its exploration of the moral risks when overwhelming power is coupled with techno-utopianism.
About the Author
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was the celebrated author of twenty-three novels, twelve volumes of short stories, eleven volumes of poetry, thirteen children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation. Her acclaimed books received the Hugo, Nebula, Endeavor, Locus, Otherwise, Theodore Sturgeon, PEN/Malamud, and National Book Awards; a Newbery Honor; and the Pushcart and Janet Heidinger Kafka Prizes, among others. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2016 joined the short list of authors to be published in their lifetimes by the Library of America. Le Guin was also the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and the Margaret A. Edwards Award. She received lifetime achievement awards from the World Fantasy Convention, Los Angeles Times, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Willamette Writers, as well as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award and the Library of Congress Living Legend Award. Her website is UrsulaKLeGuin.com.
"A rare and powerful synthesis of poetry and science, reason and emotion." —The New York Times
"Gracefully developed...extremely inventive.... What science fiction is supposed to do." —Newsweek
"Profound. Beautifully wrought... [Le Guin's] perceptions of such matters as geopolitics, race, socialized medicine, and the patient-shrink relationship are razor sharp and more than a little cutting." —National Review
“The Lathe of Heaven reminds us of the radical power of collective imagination… the novel puts Le Guin’s distinctively artful combination of psychological and sociological themes with dynamic science fiction storytelling on full display.” —Boston Review
“The Lathe of Heaven is probably the most exciting book of Le Guin’s I’ve read, precisely for just how much it sticks out from the rest… Easily the most fun of her novels, it’s also one of the strangest, and Le Guin seems to take joy in this… It’s a wild ride through the 1970s American New Wave imagination that I wouldn’t trade away.” —Tor.com
"One of the best novels, and most important to understanding of the nature of our world, is Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven, in which the dream universe is articulated in such a striking and compelling way that I hesitate to add any further explanation to it; it requires none." —Philip K. Dick
"When I read The Lathe of Heaven as a young man, my mind was boggled; now when I read it, more than twenty-five years later, it breaks my heart. Only a great work of literature can bridge - so thrillingly - that impossible span." —Michael Chabon
"A very good book... A writer's writer, Ursula K. Le Guin brings reality itself to the proving ground." —Theodore Sturgeon