Bookshelf spotlight: The Lathe of Heaven

Back in 2013, I decided I wanted to branch out and read more Sci-Fi. I started picking up books that I had heard good things about, of course starting with Ursula Le Guin. Unfortunately, I ended up going into a bit of a reading dip soon afterwards, mostly sticking to potato chip books and rereads. The dip had no connection to picking up Sci-Fi, it was just, you know, life.

The first book I picked up, and one that I have decided to add to my January 2023 reading list was The Lathe of Heaven.

I didn’t know much about this, just that I had heard it mentioned a few times as one of Le Guin’s “must reads”. But the blurb on the back of the book sounds good.

George Orr is in most respects a mild and unremarkable man, but he has an ability with which he can transform the world around him, for George’s dreams alter reality. His psychiatrist, William Haber, at first sceptical, cannot resist using George’s powers once he sees their effect – initially just to advance his own career, but then, gaining confidence, to try to change their overcrowded world into a more attractive place.

Have you read this? And what would you have picked for your first read as you started on a larger diet of Sci-Fi?


  1. No, I haven’t, yet.

    If I wasn’t starting with a reread of Larry Niven’s Known Space sequence, I would probably pick up Stephen Stirling’s Lords of Creation duology. His Martians in particular are…


    • Haven’t heard of him. Just looked up book 1 to see if I should add it to my list and there seems to be some wildly opposing views. Unfortunately the one by someone who has read multiple books by him isn’t great – basically cool idea but poor execution and lazy in that he uses stick character types in all his books. Sounds like if I wanted to give him a go I’d be best picking a single series/book


      • Niven or Stirling?

        If Niven, then Ringworld (the original novel, not yet the series). If Stirling, then probably not the Terminator franchise novels :p, but instead The Sky People.


      • Stirling – looked up the one you referenced that you’d start with and found that less than flattering view on book 1


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