Based on a recommendation, I picked up The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin.  I’m really enjoying it so far – even if the story weren’t compelling the fact that it’s set in a world called Winter helps cool me down on these hot July days.  Makes for wonderful summer reading.

What strikes me as most interesting is the aspect of the world the Envoy visits being populated with an ambisexual people who can only engage in sexual activity for a short time each month called kemmer (similar to estrus in most primates).  They consider humans to be perverts because we are in “permanent kemmer” all month long.  Being ambisexual means they do not assign sex-linked behavioral or character traits, they don’t have a power structure based on biological sex, anyone can conceive and carry a baby to term, etc.  The anthropologist in me is very psyched by this book (even if the people in the study aren’t real).