In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination

Front Cover
McClelland & Stewart, Oct 11, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 208 pages
7 Reviews

At a time when speculative fiction seems less and less far-fetched, Margaret Atwood lends her distinctive voice and singular point of view to the genre in a series of essays that brilliantly illuminates the essential truths about the modern world. This is an exploration of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as "science fiction,” a relationship that has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time as a graduate student at Harvard, where she worked on the Victorian ancestor of the form, and continuing as a writer and reviewer.  This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood's early  rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos, and Things with Wings; "Burning Bushes," which follows her into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and "Dire Cartographies," which investigates Utopias and Dystopias.  In Other Worlds also includes some of Atwood's key reviews and thoughts about the form. Among those writers discussed are Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula Le Guin, Ishiguro, Bryher, Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. She elucidates the differences (as she sees them) between "science fiction" proper, and "speculative fiction," as well as between "sword and sorcery/fantasy" and "slipstream fiction." For all readers who have loved The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood, In Other Worlds is a must.




From the Hardcover edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
6
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Esquiress - LibraryThing

In Other Worlds was my first true foray into Atwood's non-fiction. I've browsed some of her essays that I've come across, but not an entire book. I was very impressed at the level of academic ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Charming look at a foremost author's influences, what drives her to write what she does. Science Fiction, despite being sneered down upon by too many people in the past, is gaining traction as ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

MARGARET ATWOOD is the internationally acclaimed author of more than forty books. Her novels include The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood. Among the awards and honours she has received are the Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Premio Mondello (Italy), the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature (Spain), the Dan David Prize (Israel), and the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information