- 出版社: Anchor (2012年8月21日)
- 平装: 272页
- 语种： 英语
- ISBN: 9780307741769
- 条形码: 9780307741769
- 商品尺寸: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- 商品重量: 272 g
- ASIN: 0307741761
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In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (英语) 平装 – 2012年8月21日
“Atwood is a perceptive and enthusiastic literary critic, dryly funny and eclectically curious.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“Interesting, entertaining and thoughtful. . . . Atwood fans, sci-fi fans, indeed fiction fans, have reason to rejoice. In Other Worlds is a delightful read full of Atwood’s well-honed prose and sly sense of humor.” —The Miami Herald
“Margaret Atwood is a valiant champion [of science fiction]. . . . Her prose is addictive. . . . She crafts sentences with grace and pitch-perfect highbrow humor.” —The Plain Dealer
“A smart and often playful book.” —Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“In Other Worlds is an eminently readable and accessible clarification of [Atwood’s] relationship with SF and the SF tradition. . . . The lectures are insightful and cogently argued with a neat comic turn of phrase. . . . [Atwood’s] enthusiasm and level of intellectual engagement are second to none.” —Financial Times
“It’s a delight to see Atwood revisit Mischiefland, both because of the lovely details she remembers (the flying bunnies kept cats as pets and ate only ice cream), and because this retelling leads Atwood to speculate on the origins—cultural, literary, mythic, religious—of the science fiction genre. . . . In Other Worlds reminds us that all genres are capable of deepening and developing this one human story.” —The Boston Globe
“Atwood gives us a bracing tour of the writers and books she admires (like Ursula Le Guin and ‘She’ by H. Rider Haggard), her interest in ustopia (a mix of utopia and dystopia) in her fiction, as well as some autobiography. . . . Explains how the genre fits into a continuum dating to the world’s oldest myths and continuing today with authors who use the genre to examine social ills, not run away from them.” —Los Angeles Times
“Atwood certainly has read a fair bit of and thought deeply about science fiction, and she shares generously with her readers.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Fascinating. . . . Vibrant. . . . Compelling. . . . Not only is In Other Worlds powerfully readable and mentally refreshing, it’s also one heck of a joyride through the limitless imagination of a national (and international) treasure.” —Bookreporter
Margaret Atwood’s books have been published in over forty countries. She is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize; and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
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As it turns out, her thinking follows along the same lines as mine, making it very difficult for me not to like this book. My experience of getting into reading echoed hers, though with some different authors. Her thinking about Orwell and Huxley, two writers I much admire, is quite similar to mine. Also, she has useful things to say about a number of important writers in the genre such as Wells, Poe, and LeGuin.
Even better, for me, was her discussion of writers I knew little or nothing about. I knew of the character Allan Quatermain, for example, but couldn't have told you the author who created him is H. Rider Haggard. And, clearly, Haggard's novel She had a great impact on Atwood. I feel almost embarrassed to say that I'd never heard of this novel before. But good books lead you to other good books and now I've almost finished reading Haggard's book (and seen the movie, no less!). So, I have to compliment Ms. Atwood on opening my eyes.
In fact, my only complaints are small ones. First, the endnotes of each section would have been more useful as footnotes. (Or the text should have had marks indicating an associated note.) Second, and more importantly, in some ways, this is a book too late. With top writers like Cormac McCarthy, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jim Crace (and Ms. Atwood herself) taking on the field, SF is bordering on respectable. This book would have had more impact on me 30 years ago, when I felt my love of SF was more isolating. Still, I'm glad to have the book now.
That said, the best thing about this book is the dedication, which made me laugh out loud. The book is dedicated, with whimsy as well as affection, to the reigning queen of the sort of science fiction Atwood is writing about, Ursula K Le Guin. While on the one hand, there is only one novel of UKLG's that I would insist on taking to my desert island (Always Coming Home), there are at least two of Atwood's, and probably, on departure day, I'd be vacillating about two or three more to stuff in my luggage. But Le Guin is the pro, in the scio/speculo fiction realm, and Atwood the gifted amateur. Atwood will justly win the Nobel one of these days and Le Guin probably not, but in her patch Le Guin rules.
This distinction accounts for the great difference between Atwood's book on science fiction and pretty much any of Le Guin's excellent collections of essays. (Try Dancing on the Edge of the World to see what this book could have been.) Atwood comes at her subject with genuine enthusiasm and considerable literary expertise, but the overall effect is somehow rather thin. Ok, the flying bunnies are cute, but we all had flying bunnies and siblings who drew maps and omnivorous reading habits, those of us who became hopelessly "bookish." Those opening chapters feel more like gossip than conversation; maybe the effect is different if you are not of Atwood's generation. For those of us who are, well, we done that. It's nice to know that Atwood's three "speculative fictions" were informed by some familiarity with the genre and that she was consciously engaging in conversation with Huxley, Orwell, etc. when she wrote them, but none of that was any surprise, really.
You will find essays here on Jonathan Swift (Gullivers Travels), Huxley (Brave New World), Wells (The Island of Dr. Moreau), and Orwell (1984) that will tempt you to read or re-read each of these writers, essays on H Rider Haggard and Ursula Le Guin that don't do much except exclaim over an enthusiasm, and the discovery of a book that sounds worth hunting up -- Visa for Avalon. That's, as one's Gran would say, nice. Only the essays on Dr. Moreau and Gulliver do much more than tell you why to read it. Ultimately there's no heavy lifting in this book, no place where you feel as if Atwood is pushing against much. The book ends with the rather self-indulgent anti-climax of a handful of Atwood's shorter sci-fi fictions. Again, nothing terribly exciting if you've read, say, Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences. No, I couldn't do better. But I've read better.
Man, writing this review is a bummer. I feel like the husband who doesn't like his wife's new haircut. If you love Atwood, you'll enjoy this book. If you love science fiction, probably not. I love both.