Earthsea (miniseries)

Legend of Earthsea (later shortened to Earthsea) is a two-night television miniseries adaptation of the "Earthsea" novels by Ursula K. Le Guin. It premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel in December 2004.

Legend of Earthsea
Earthseadvd
DVD cover
GenreAdventure
Fantasy
Written byUrsula K. Le Guin (novels)
Gavin Scott (teleplay)
Directed byRobert Lieberman
StarringShawn Ashmore
Kristin Kreuk
Danny Glover
Isabella Rossellini
Sebastian Roché
Chris Gauthier
Theme music composerJeff Rona
Country of originUnited States
Canada
France
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes2
Production
Producer(s)Hallmark Entertainment
Bender-Brown Productions
CinematographySteve Danyluk
Editor(s)Allan Lee
Running time172 mins
DistributorSci-Fi Channel
Release
Original releaseDecember 13 –
December 14, 2004

Plot

In Earthsea, a world of one thousand and one islands, priestesses led by the High Priestess Thar lock in the tomb of Atuan the diabolic Nameless Ones. However, the ambitious King Tygath, who intends to unite the realm, wants also to release the demons to learn their secret of immortality, and uses his mistress Kossil to poison Thar. Kossil expects to be nominated the next guardian and get the keys and enchantment that keeps the darkness forces apart, but Thar selects the pure Tenar. Meanwhile, in the island of Gont, the reckless and rebel son of a blacksmith Ged dreams of being a wizard. He is sent to the island of Roke to learn magic, but in a dispute with a corrupt mate, he accidentally summons a powerful Nameless One that becomes The Gebbeth and wants to devour his soul. Now his only chance to survive is to follow the lead of a dragon and find the two parts of an amulet to destroy the Nameless Ones

Characters

Production

The series was produced by Hallmark Entertainment in association with Bender-Brown Productions. It was adapted by Gavin Scott (The Mists of Avalon) from the Earthsea novels for executive producers Robert Halmi, Sr. (Merlin, Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm), Lawrence Bender (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction) and Kevin Kelly Brown (Roswell). The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Critical reception

Reviewing the miniseries, the book The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy claimed Legend of Earthsea "totally missed the point" of Le Guin's novels, "ripping out all the subtlety, nuance and beauty of the books and inserting boring cliches, painful stereotypes and a very unwelcome 'epic' war in their place".[1] The Moria website's review of "Legend of Earthsea" states "Earthsea feels exactly like tv filler. In the books, Ursula Le Guin expended a great deal of time creating a world with a depth and culture, but nothing of this survives in the mini-series". The review also argues Legend of Earthsea "is shabbily and indifferently directed" and "The dialogue is dreadfully clunky and often excruciatingly bad".[2]

Author's response

Le Guin, author of the novels on which the miniseries is based, was not involved in the development of the material or the making of the production. She has written a number of responses to the handling of this adaptation of her works, "A Whitewashed Earthsea"[3] and "Frankenstein's Earthsea".[4] She noted, "When I sold the rights to Earthsea a few years ago, my contract gave me the standard status of "consultant"—which means whatever the producers want it to mean, almost always little or nothing.,"[3] and that, "Mr. Lieberman, one of the producers, published a statement telling people what 'Ursula' (whom he has never met) 'intended' by the books. That changed the situation. They were taking advantage of my silence by sticking words in my mouth. I put a reply on my website...."[4]

References

  1. ^ Pringle, David, ed. (2006). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy. London: Carlton. p. 145. ISBN 1-84442-110-4.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Legend of Earthsea". Moria: The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Le Guin, Ursula K. (December 16, 2004). "A Whitewashed Earthsea". Slate.com. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Le Guin, Ursula K. (January 2005). "Frankenstein's Earthsea". Locus Magazine. Retrieved October 12, 2012.

External links

Ansible

An ansible is a category of fictional device or technology capable of near-instantaneous or superluminal communication. It can send and receive messages to and from a corresponding device over any distance or obstacle whatsoever with no delay, even between star systems. As a name for such a device, the word "ansible" first appeared in a 1966 novel by Ursula K. Le Guin. Since that time, the term has been broadly used in the works of numerous science fiction authors, across a variety of settings and continuities.

Catwings

Catwings is a series of four American children's picture books written by Ursula K. Le Guin, illustrated by S. D. Schindler, and originally published by Scholastic from 1988 to 1999. It follows the adventures of kittens who were born with wings. Catwings is also the title of the first book in the series. The series is in print from Scholastic as of August 2015.In Britain the series was published in two omnibus volumes as Tales of Catwings and More Tales of the Catwings (Puffin/Penguin, 1999 and 2000). In America the 2003 editions were available in a boxed set of four with slipcase title The Catwings Collection (Orchard/Scholastic), listed as Catwings Set by Powell's Books.Scholastic classifies the Catwings books as fantasy and classifies the first two by "interest level" as "grades 2–5", the last two as "grades preK–3" (children of ages about 7–11 and 4–9 respectively). The series is covered by the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, which classifies the volumes as short fiction and as chapbooks.Scholastic Book Guides, a series for schoolteachers, includes one Catwings volume.In 2002 and 2003 as Catwings 5 and Catwings 6, Le Guin published online editions of picture books "by Mrs. Katz's First Grade Class".Ten years after their last Catwings volume, Le Guin and Schindler created another picture book featuring a cat: Cat Dreams (Orchard/Scholastic, 2009), with "easy rhyming text" and "realistic, full-bleed watercolor illustrations".

Earthsea

Earthsea, also known as The Earthsea Cycle, is a series of fantasy books written by the American writer Ursula K. Le Guin and the name of their setting, a world of islands surrounded by an uncharted ocean. There are six Earthsea books written between 1968 and 2001, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind. Unusually for a series, Tales from Earthsea is a short story collection; the rest are novels. There are also four additional short stories not in Tales from Earthsea.

Illustrators have included Pauline Ellison, Ruth Robbins, Anne Yvonne Gilbert, Gail Garraty, Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Kelly Nelson, Marion Wood Kolisch, Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess and Cliff Nielsen.

In 2018, all the novels and short stories were published as The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition.

Fantasy television

Fantasy television is a genre of television programming featuring elements of the fantastic, often including magic, supernatural forces, or exotic fantasy worlds. Fantasy television programs are often based on tales from mythology and folklore, or are adapted from fantasy stories in other media. The boundaries of fantasy television often overlap with science fiction and horror.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American novelist. She worked mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction, and authored children's books, short stories, poetry, and essays. Her writing was first published in the 1960s and often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, the natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality, and ethnography. In 2016, The New York Times described her as "America's greatest living science fiction writer", although she said that she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist".She influenced Booker Prize winners and other writers, such as Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell, and science fiction and fantasy writers including Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks. She won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each more than once. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2003, she was made a Grandmaster of Science Fiction, one of a few women writers to take the top honor in the genre.

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