05 February 2006


A while ago I blogged my disappointment at the casting of Shawn Ashmore as Ged in the Sci Fi Channel's production of Earthsea. Ursula LeGuin made a point of bucking the fantasy trend by making all of the heroes in her Earthsea books dark-skinned, and Ashmore is, as I said at the time, "about the whitest guy I can think of."

No big deal? Tell that to Pam Noles.

Later that summer, during the weekly hajj to the library, the librarian gave me a copy of A Wizard of Earthsea. She told me it had just come in, that she held it special for me, and that she knew I would like it a lot.

I know I didn't start reading it that day. But I was deep into it before the week was out. And because Le Guin snuck up on it, let us thrill with Sparrowhawk as he made his way, the Revelation came as a shock. I do remember bursting out into tears on the living room couch when I understood what was going on. And the tears flowed again when Mom came home from work and I showed her the book while trying to explain. Sparrowhawk is brown. I think he's like an Indian from India. And Vetch is black like from Africa. There's a bunch more and they have real power. Not the girls, though. But still they are also the good guys. It's the white people who are evil. And Sparrowhawk is also Ged, and he's going to be the most powerful one of them all, ever.
I probably overdid it with the thanks to the librarian. When she gave me the next one, I flew home.

Ms. Noles goes on to take the genre press to task for not making a stink. Check it out; she's right.

1 comment:

snakey said...

I read that of le Guin's website, where she has it (and some other stuff) linked, including her own disgust at the sci fi's series' casting (and interpretation) of the books.