Exploring Other Worlds with Margaret Atwood

On paper this sounds like a very boring book: Margaret Atwood publishes a collection of essays about her opinions of science fiction. Not something you would rush out to buy, right?

But, amazingly, this is a very entertaining and enjoyable book!

Atwood does indeed analyse what “sci-fi” means to her but the fun here is how she enriches this analysis with recollections from her formative years, when she devoured all kinds of books and stories during her childhood in the remote Canadian wilderness, and how this informed her work later on.

Thrillingly she dissects her own writing; there is much here about how and why she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, offering up enjoyable insight into her thought processes and providing fans with fascinating tidbits.

While you might not agree with Atwood’s opinions on what sci-fi is or isn’t, this is a richly entertaining and insightful read: part autobiography, part scholarly analysis and part a collection of lectures, but always curious and bursting with ideas.

Here is she giving a reading from In Other Worlds: SF And The Human Imagination.

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