In Other Worlds: Sf And The Human Imagination

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In Other Worlds: Sf And The Human Imagination

by Margaret Atwood

McClelland & Stewart | October 11, 2011 | Hardcover

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  This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood''s early  rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes,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

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 3.36 × 2.28 × 0.35 in

Published: October 11, 2011

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771008481

ISBN - 13: 9780771008481

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– More About This Product –

In Other Worlds: Sf And The Human Imagination

by Margaret Atwood

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 3.36 × 2.28 × 0.35 in

Published: October 11, 2011

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771008481

ISBN - 13: 9780771008481

Read from the Book

I’m a fifty-three-year-old writer who can remember being a ten-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an eighty-year-old writer. OCTAVIA BUTLER I n Other Worlds is not a catalogue of science fiction, a grand theory about it, or a literary history of it. It is not a treatise, it is not definitive, it is not exhaustive, it is not canonical. It is not the work of a practising academic or an official guardian of a body of knowledge. Rather it is an exploration of my own lifelong relationship with a literary form, or forms, or subforms, both as reader and as writer.   I say “lifelong,” for among the first things I wrote as a child might well merit the initials SF. Like a great many children before and since, I was an inventor of other worlds. Mine were rudimentary, as such worlds are when you’re six or seven or eight, but they were emphatically not of this here- and- now Earth, which seems to be one of the salient features of SF. I wasn’t much interested in Dick and Jane: the creepily ultra- normal characters did not convince me. Saturn was more my speed, and other realms even more outlandish. Several- headed man- eating marine life seemed more likely to me, somehow, than Spot and Puff.     Our earliest loves, like revenants, have a way of coming back in other forms; or, to paraphrase Wordsworth, the child is mother to the woman. To date— as what I am pleased to think of as an adult— I have written three full- length
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

"Eminently readable and accessible. . . . Atwood revels in all aspects of the SF genre, both high- and low-brow, and her enthusiasm and level of intellectual engagement are second to none." 
-Financial Times

"Witty and astute. . . . Wholly satisfying."
-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"[Atwood''s] prose is addictive."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
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