In November 2014 science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation’s medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
In her acceptance speech she called out publishers for turning literature into a commodity and charging libraries ridiculously high rates for books and e-books. Le Guin also explained how authors, especially fantasy writers, have a special opportunity to stand up to the corporate system because they can portray a world very different from the one we currently live in.
“We live in capitalism,” said Le Guin, “Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.” It’s up to authors, she explains in the video below, to spark the imagination of their readers and to help them envision alternatives to how we live.