Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And so it is that the women you’d least like to see in the centerfold of a girlie magazine often turn out to have the greatest amount of bile and resentment.
That’s perhaps the most ironic thing about Ursula Le Guin’s “Nine Lives”, which really was published in Playboy magazine: the contrast it provides when set against the inherent appeal of the young, the voluptuous, and the fertile:
He had to stand up then wearing only the shorts he slept in, and he felt like a plucked rooster, all white scrawn and pimples. He had seldom envied Martin’s compact brownness so much. The United Kingdom had come through the Great Famines well, losing less than half its population: a record achieved by rigorous food control. Black marketeers and hoarders had been executed. Crumbs had been shared. Where in richer lands most had died and a few had thriven, in Britain fewer died and none throve. They all got lean. Their sons were lean, their grandsons lean, small, brittle-boned, easily infected. When civilization became a matter of standing in lines, the British had kept queue, and so had replaced the survival of the fittest with the survival of the fair-minded. Owen Pugh was a scrawny little man.
There it is. An unattractive woman fantasizes about a future in which all the unattainable good looking men have simply ceased to exist. And to make it work, she’s willing to go so far as to repudiate Darwin in order to sustain that state of affairs.
(Where are the poindexters intent on playing the game when you need them?!)
The way she tells it, Communism over and above both human nature and the laws of nature is the inevitable outcome. But the communist propaganda of old at least took the time to paint the exemplars of the party as being healthy, strong, beautiful, and awash with plenty. Le Guin can’t be bothered to lie about the track record of the ideology she serves. She and her ilk are committed to a different method of forwarding her aims: that of destroying our capacity to even imagine wonder, heroism, truth, and beauty.
I suppose you can demonstrate a certain amount of technical proficiency in advancing such a ludicrous agenda. But the results cannot be good. They cannot thrill or inspire. And they cannot under any circumstances be considered to be a first class element of the science fiction and fantasy canon.