In Other Worlds: SF And The Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood

These days, it seems like everyone is writing their memoirs. While I agree that some biographies are worth the read, many seem just plain unnecessary. Did the world honestly need the life stories of Flavor Flav? It is not that I don't enjoy reading the occasional autobiography (I recently read and reviewed one that I really enjoyed), but many times, these stories get bogged down in details that are unimportant to the story and boring to the average readers.

In her latest book, In Other Worlds: SF And The Human Imagination, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood has found a way to provide an insight into her beliefs, life, and writing process without following a typical "life story" format. Through personal stories and examples form her works and other influential novels, Atwood argues that there is a clear difference between works of Science Fiction, all of which must take place on some far away planet, and her "Speculative Fiction" novels, which are built upon the idea that everything "could" happen on Earth.

This is not a memoir. Instead, Atwood provides readers with small, essay style insights into her life. Because the book follows no real narrative structure, it can be very choppy at times. The ending section, in which the author provides short snapshots of stories, felt particularly tedious. I wouldn't recommend this book to all readers, but fans of the author, science fiction, and those looking for a history of the genre  should definitely check this out. It is by no means perfect, but it is a commendable attempt at redefining the way opinions and histories are presented to readers.

For more information, visit the author's
website http://margaretatwood.ca/,
the publisher's site, http://www.randomhouse.com/book/205858/in-other-worlds-by-margaret-atwood/9780385533966/,
and http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10481151-in-other-worlds.

(week 5, book 5)

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 28, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

11 Responses to “In Other Worlds: SF And The Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood”

  1. Looks really neat! Thanks for posting Ethan!

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for reading.

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  2. Margaret Atwood is brilliant. I'm going to have to put this one down as something I need to read in the future.

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    1. I'm sorry to admit that I had never read anything by Atwood before this. I will definitely have to check out some of her fiction now. Any suggestions?

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  3. Sounds interesting... If you wish to read more by Margaret Atwood, I'd suggest "Alias Grace", that one is brilliant. If you're looking for her science fiction, "The Handmaid's Tale" is probably the best one.

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    1. Thanks! I'll put those on my TBR list.

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  4. I just finished the Handmaid's Tale and have at least one of her other books somewhere. I really enjoyed Handmaid's Tale and the world she painted in that book. It all makes me very interested in reading this book! Glad you reviewed it!

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    1. It was definitely an interesting read. Thanks for reading!

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  5. I just stumbled across your blog and thought I'd check it out, as I am an avid reader and think its really great thing you are doing! :) I love books and am constantly reading! Just wish I had the time to read one book a week! Margaret Atwood is a wonderful author, I think and I shall definitely be reading this book. Great review :)

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  6. I'd really like to read this! I didn't know it was all essay type insight things! Sounds intriguing. I've read 'The Handmaids Tale' and recently got 'The Penelopiad' so I'm thinking I should read this too!

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    1. Thanks for reading! This really is a must read for Atwood fans. I'd love for you to enter my giveaways if you're interested.

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