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In Other Worlds

SF and the Human Imagination
Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Other Worlds: Science Fiction and the Human Imagination is Margaret Atwood’s account of her rela­tionship with the literary form we have come to know as science fiction. This relationship 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 explored the Victorian ancestors of the form, and continuing with her work as a writer and reviewer.

This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures of 2010: “Flying Rabbits”, which begins with Atwood’s early rabbit superhero creations and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling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 other-lands and beyond; and “Dire Cartographies”, which investi­gates utopias and dystopias. In Other Worlds also includes some of Atwood’s key reviews and musings about the form, including her elucidation of the differences (as she sees them) between “science fiction” proper and “speculative fiction”, as well as “sword and sorcery/fantasy” and “slip­stream fiction”. For all listeners who have loved The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood - not to mention Atwood’s 100,000-plus Twitter fol­lowers - In Other Worlds is a must.

©2011 Margaret Atwood (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A speculative-fiction visionary... Atwood has an uncanny knack for tapping into humanity’s uncertain future and predicting mankind’s cultural, scientific and sociopolitical falls from glory... Her fiction has peeled back the skin of our disturbing subcutaneous nightmares.” ( Wired)
“One of the most intelligent and talented writers to set herself the task of deciphering life in the late twentieth century.” ( Vogue)
“Throughout her literary career... Margaret Atwood has impressed and delighted readers with her wit, lyric virtuosity, and imaginative acuity.” ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What members say

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Uneven Quality, but Overall Excellence

You have to like literary criticism to go in for a book like this. But if you do and would be intrigued by a fresh take on what science fiction is all about, this book is for you. The language is that of a master stylist, but the real delight is the insights into the relationships between the various sub-genres of science fiction, fantasy, myth, and comics literature ranging from the ancients to today. Who knew, for example, that the high literature ("classics") of the past are so closely related in style and substance to the low literature of today. Not me.

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Don't Waste Your Time

Would you try another book from Margaret Atwood and/or Susan Denaker and Margaret Atwood ?

Maybe, only if the first chapter was avalible for free.

What could Margaret Atwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not narrate, the book sounds like one of my worst english professors. Dry, redundant and full of personal opinion. Her style of oration is slow jagged and similar to a desiccated corpse.

Any additional comments?

This book is only commentary and her personal opinion, there is no real story and her opinion is long winded and filled with circular arguments based on semantics and the categorization of genre.

1 of 16 people found this review helpful