Tuesday, 21 August 2012

In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood

In Other Worlds
SF and the Human Imagination
by Margaret Atwood

Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover

When I was in my twenties and well into my thirties I read books I thought I needed to read in order to learn. You know, important books: classics, nonfiction.... serious stuff. Thank goodness I grew out of that.

But is SF any less "important" than "serious" works? What is SF anyway?

"Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Sword and Sorcerer Fantasy, and Slipstream Fiction: all of them might be placed under the same large "wonder tale" umbrella."
Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds

In Other Worlds, SF and the Human Imagination is a series of essays and explorations of Margaret Atwood's personal relationship with SF.

In 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. Margaret Atwood

And this is why I love the book.

It is indeed Margaret's own personal relationship with SF, and what a relationship that is! She looks at all sorts of SF works, from the it could happen to us to the truly fantastic and everything in between. Central themes are contrasted and compared in all sorts of styles, from Jungian archetypes to theology, both modern and ancient, history to present and right into the future.

Not only will you come away with a broader understanding of Margaret herself, but you will end up with a fabulous new reading list and a whole new way of looking at fiction, especially SF.

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.

News from Random House of Canada
Toronto – April 24, 2012 – Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) today announced that the industry’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Canadian author Margaret Atwood Canadian Author. CBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of Ms. Atwood’s outstanding and longstanding contribution to the book industry. This award, which is bestowed at the discretion of CBA Board of Directors, allows booksellers and other industry stakeholders to explicitly recognize an author’s cultural impact on Canadian literary culture. Past recipients include Timothy Findley, Carol Shields, Pierre Berton, Charles Burchell and Stephen King.