In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 11, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 208 pages

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale

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  This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood's early  rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes,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.

Note: The electronic version of this title contains over thirty additional, illuminating eBook-exclusive illustrations by the author.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

The essay about utopias and dystopias is really wonderful, and anything Margaret Atwood has to say about The Handmaid's Tale is worth the price of admission. Having said that, I would much rather read ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

A series of essays about Atwood’s own understanding of the sf-nal elements of her work as well as the work of others. I know it’s ridiculously fanboy of me, but I wish Atwood hadn’t repeatedly ... Read full review

Contents

2zvr Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
2
Visaj6rAval0n by Bryher
194
HveTHbufes
213
Appendkes
255
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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.

Bibliographic information