Monday, March 5, 2012

Margaret Atwood on Science Fiction

Joyce Carol Oates, who appears annually at the New York State Summer Writers Institute, reviews Margaret Atwood's essay collection, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2012) in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books.

Atwood spoke to a stand-room-only Page Hall crowd in November 2005.

In her admiring essay on Le Guin—“The Queen of Quinkdom”—Atwood notes that Le Guin speaks of science fiction as a genre that “should not be merely extrapolative” and should not attempt “prophetic truth”: “Science fiction cannot predict, nor can any fiction, the variables being too many.” Atwood concurs with Le Guin that “the moral complexity proper to the modern novel need not be sacrificed” in what is called “science fiction.” “Thought and intuition can move freely within bounds set only by the terms of the experiment, which may be very large indeed.” More.