In Other Worlds : SF and the Human Imagination, Paperback Book

In Other Worlds : SF and the Human Imagination Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


From her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time at Harvard, where she studied the Victorian ancestors of the form, and later as a writer and reviewer, Margaret Atwood has always been fascinated with science fiction. Here she brings together three Ellmann lectures: 'Flying Rabbits' begins with her early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos and Things with Wings; 'Burning Bushes' travels into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and 'Dire Cartographies' investigates Utopias and Dystopias, including Atwood's own ventures into those constructions.

In further essays Atwood explores and critiques the form, and elucidates the differences - as she sees them - between 'science fiction' proper, and 'speculative fiction', not to mention 'sword and sorcery', 'fantasy' and 'slipstream fiction'.

In Other Worlds is a must.


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Margaret Atwood's non-fiction--much like Stephen Kind's non-fiction--always benefits immensely from her wonderful, conversational voice. The pieces included here are charming and interesting--especially, I'm sure, for fans of classic 40's and 50's science fiction. Atwood is capable, however, of much more involved and complex analysis. For the most part, these pieces are short (many of them were talks she gave) and very accessible. A gem of a book if you're a fan of Atwood or of the genre, but there's not much new here otherwise.

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