Margaret Atwood Admits To Writing SciFi

by Irma Arkus

In an unprecedented move, Atwood coughs up the truth – she does write science fiction: “I have written two works of science fiction or, if you prefer, speculative fiction: The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake,” Atwood says in her Guardian article.

But the address by Atwood is also a plea, reminding critics and readers alike as to why science fiction is complex, more so than mere fiction writing: “They can explore the consequences of new and proposed technologies in graphic ways, by showing them as fully operational. We’ve always been good at letting cats out of bags and genies out of bottles, we just haven’t been very good at putting them back in again.”

The science fiction allows us to explore nature of humanity, in relation to itself as well as the universe and the “other”: “explore the relationship of man to the universe, an exploration that often takes us in the direction of religion and can meld easily with mythology – an exploration that can happen within the conventions of realism only through conversations and soliloquies.”

Moreover, they are often complex, enticing us to recreate social orders, building new perspectives on what we have, or could potentially have.

Do read Atwood’s insightful article on why science fiction, or even speculative fiction is worthy of note. [Guardian]