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Publisher's Summary

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.

This audiobook brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits", which begins with Atwood's early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes,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 otherlands and beyond; and "Dire Cartographies", which investigates Utopias and Dystopias.

In Other Worlds also includes some of Atwood's key reviews and thoughts about the form. Among those writers discussed are Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula Le Guin, Ishiguro, Bryher, Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. She elucidates the differences (as she sees them) between "science fiction" proper, and "speculative fiction", as well as between "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, 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 listeners say about In Other Worlds

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  • Overall
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Mind blowing

Atwood gives an amazing step by step introduction to some of the best works of sci-fi and a deep explanation of why they matter.

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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.

3 people found this helpful