Jonathan Swift

Book review: 'In Other Worlds' by Margaret Atwood

Book review: 'In Other Worlds' by Margaret Atwood

In Other Worlds

SF and the Human Imagination

Margaret Atwood

Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 259 pp., $24.95

Great fiction writers are usually better at showing than at telling. Sometimes, though, the job of explaining their creative choices is thrust on them by critics and others contributing to the daily cultural chatter. Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood rises to the challenge in her new book, "In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination," in which she describes her lifelong relationship with the writerly worlds of fantasy and science fiction.

To call "In Other Worlds" a defense of science fiction isn't accurate. Yes, there is a thread of...