Sunday, November 20, 2011

In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (Book)

Speculative Fiction. Science Fiction. Slipstream Fiction. Superheroes. Ustopias. Utopias. Dystopias. Mythology. Maps. History. Cartography. Archeology. Anthropology. Fantasy. Folktales. Fable. Scientific Romance. Mad Scientists. Archetype. Immortality. Biography. 

Margaret Atwood’s book In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination contains bits and pieces loosely associated with the concept of Speculative Fiction. Atwood includes descriptions of the roots of speculative fiction and essays about particular books—most of which were written before the Hugo Award winners. She includes autobiographical snippets in which she describes her relationship with speculative fiction. She also includes snippets of her own speculative fiction writing.

Much of the time the book felt rambling to me. Yet there were nuggets of gold that made it at least partially worth reading for me, and in places her wit made me laugh. I wonder whether I would have thought differently about the book if I had been an Atwood fan—I vaguely remember reading something by Atwood in school. I also questioned whether a linear book was the best medium for the content, because there seemed to be so many little rabbit holes it went down. To me, the book felt more like a website with layers of hypertext and interesting links to follow.

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