Margaret Atwood discussed science fiction with On Point host Tom Ashbrook yesterday, October 12, in a broadcast now available online.
Poet and novelist Margaret Atwood has written some of the most hair-raising, dystopian tales of our time. Of apocalypse, wild social decay, women sent back into virtual slavery. Reality-bending, piercing views of the world and its future.
But in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Oryx and Crake” and more, she never embraced the label “science fiction.” Now Atwood’s going straight at science fiction, with an exploration and celebration of its extraordinary power to shape the way we see and engage the world.
She is promoting her newest book, a collection of essays and five short stories exploring science fiction In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination. There’s a nice excerpt on the page that shouldn’t be missed:
In Other Worlds is not a catalogue of science ?ction, a grand theory about it, or a literary history of it. It is not a treatise, it is not de?nitive, it is not exhaustive, it is not canonical. It is not the work of a practising academic or an of?cial 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.
On the other hand, if you skip the comments on the post you’ll only miss the groundlings brawling over whether it’s “sci-fi” or “sf.” Welcome to science fiction, Margaret.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]