Here’s just an excerpt from Le Guin’s speech at the National Book Awards, but you should really go read the whole thing–it’s short and completely inspiring:
“I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.”
If you haven’t read any of Ursula K. Le Guin’s books, why not?