In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination

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Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 255 pages
12 Reviews
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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 This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood's early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes,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.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - capewood - LibraryThing

2021 book #43. 2011. Margaret Atwood ("The Handmaid's Tail") writes about science fiction and her life long love of the genre. I share that feeling and really liked this book. Her views, some SF reviews, and some of her (very) short fiction. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - heggiep - LibraryThing

There are some overlapping ideas and references but that is to be expected in any collection of related topic essays and non-fiction pieces. Altogether, an enjoyable dive into SF and its antecedents. Read full review


2zvr Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Visaj6rAval0n by Bryher

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About the author (2011)

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been pub­lished in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, her nov­els include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize; and her most recent, The Year of the Flood.

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