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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinRead about the other entries on the list.
This is one of the all-time great science fiction novels - and yet, it's also exceedingly challenging. People tend to fixate on one obvious bit of strangeness - the fact that the natives of the planet Winter (or "Gethen," in their own language) are neither male nor female except when they experience brief periods of "Kemmer." But that's just one odd point in a book that's full of oddness - Gethenian politics are also incredibly complex, including what seems to be an impending war on a world that has no concept of war. The experiences of Genly Ai, a visiting envoy from the Ekumen, involve a series of misunderstandings, political upheavals and long journeys. A lot of the action depends on understanding made-up cultural concepts such as "shifgrethor." And a huge plot device in the story, the ansible, is purely a communications tool that allows for instantaneous communication with other worlds. There's almost no way to capture even a fraction of what's going on in this novel in a standard motion picture.
The Left Hand of Darkness is one of Ian Marchant's top 10 books of the night.