Jan 12, 12
Read in January, 2012
I enjoyed this immensely but wouldn't recommend everyone. Atwood has written several novels that some would classify as SF (The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and XXXX) but she says she writes speculative fiction, not SF. That has angered some in the SF community who believe she is denigrating SF and trying to avoid the genre label. This book is a collection of several lectures on the subject that Atwood gave at Emory University; other writings of hers, including reviews, that focus on related subjects; and some short pieces of SF she has written in the past. This is one of those books where the author has written little that is new, just collected some already published pieces along with some unpublished lectures. I often hate that kind of book, but didn't mind in this case because I found the material really interesting. Atwood discusses the ideas of utopia and dystopia a lot, connecting her work to 1984, Brave New World, and older examples of utopia/dystopia. I have a keen fondness for dystopias, post apocalyptic novels, etc., so I found this book riveting. But not everyone will.