it’s been a while since i read a book so slow-paced and yet this immersive. first half is almost exclusively exposition, done in a masterful way – reader is almost as uninformed as the narrator, who is a visiting human from our future earth to a new world. ambassador of space travel on a planet that doesn’t have flying transport.
i don’t think it will be a spoiler if i mention that the key difference between terran humans and gethenian ones is biological. ursula le guin thought out how a world would look like if humans were not split into duality of men and women. she paints a convincing picture that had me longing for gethen, despite its horrible climate.