First aired on Q (17/10/11)
Margaret Atwood is one of our most versatile authors. Arguably best known for her novels, she has published collections of short fiction and poetry, children's books and literary criticism. Some also consider her one of the world's great science fiction writers, having penned books like The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, which are both set in dystopian futures.
But Atwood herself has been known to reject the sci-fi label for her books, preferring to call them works of speculative fiction. Not that she dislikes science fiction. In fact, she's a big fan.
"Been reading it ever since Flash Gordon," she told CBC's Jian Ghomeshi during a recent interview on Q.
The space travelling Flash Gordon became widely popular in the 1940s and '50s, so Atwood has had several decades to explore the field. In her latest book, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, she looks at science fiction through critical essays and examples drawn from her own work, and shares insights into her own relationship with the genre, which she sees as distinct from speculative fiction.
Find out more about her new book in this uncut interview.
In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination
by Margaret Atwood
Buy this book at:
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."
Read more at McClelland & Stewart.