The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 starts tonight and it looks amazing. Here's the trailer

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When this happens a big part of the rationale will be “we need to defend our culture from being taken over by SHARIA LAW.”


Is this science fiction, or future history?

I don’t think the premise involves any futuristic, as-yet-fictional technologies (at least the book didn’t) so “dystopian fiction” is probably the best way to categorize it.


As much as the novel is highly regarded, I won’t be watching this show until until it’s far less plausible as a possible reality: basically, not until 45 is finally out of office and Pence is good and dead.


You’ve much more self-control than me! I’ll be watching tonight. It’s being shown here on a free-to-air weekly dripfeed and the station re-ran the first series recently. Even knowing what was going to happen, it wasn’t that much less shocking than the first time round. Frighteningly close to reality. So while I totally get what you’re saying… yeah, lack of self-control will have me watching later.


Ditto. Too close to reality for me. I need to be able to tell between the news and fiction.


IIRC, reading the novel harshed the fuck out of my ‘mellow.’

And these days, I don’t have much “mellow” to spare…


We’re living this shit now … why watch?

I read it over a decade ago and it scared me so much that I haven’t been able to read the entire thing through since. It’s also the reason why I couldn’t watch the TV show no matter how good everyone tells me it is.

In spite of that I also think it’s the only book I legitimately feel everyone should read at least once, preferably in a situation where it can be thoroughly and openly discussed with others. I found having to write a 2000 word essay on the themes and situations it contained did wonders for cementing them in my mind.


I don’t need to watch…I just read the news…same, same.


It’s not scary because it’s implausible, but because it’s entirely TOO plausible.

I agree, completely. Though a harrowing read, it’s an important piece of American literature, IMO.

And even though some of the criticisms of Atwood are legit (she’s expressing a fear of what Black women in the US have already suffered through, via chattel slavery) I still feel it’s has a lot of value as one starting point for a much needed national conversation about agency and human rights.


That was my reaction to The Man in the High Castle the first time I tried to watch it (edit: and read it, which I’ve still never done). I found it so deeply unsettling, almost to the point of nauseating, that I had to stop after an episode or so.

I think this is also why I’ve had a problem getting more deeply into John Shirley’s Eclipse series. It is like… frighteningly prescient, to what seems to be going on today. Not fun at ALL. But really good!

I will say, I’m glad I gave it (High Castle) another shot – it’s pretty damn good. Looking forward to season 3.

But yes, I totally commiserate.

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Atwood says that she doesn’t write science fiction, which according to her is escapist fantasy and the realm of “talking cabbages from Planet X” and “talking squids in outer space.” She describes her work such as The Handmaid’s Tale as speculative and/or dystopian fiction."talking+cabbages+from+planet+x""talking+squids+in+outer+space""speculative+fiction"

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Well, that’s a rather dismissive opinion of an entire genre…



I mean, what’s so bad about talking squids from outer space?


Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, I don’t know of any Canadian authors who’d describe themselves as science fiction writers… :wink:


Five minutes to go! I’m tragically excited. Non-spoiler update after.

It’s here. It’s been here. It’s just not distributed widely yet, to misquote William Gibson.

I hope and pray this is not our future, and neither is The Handmaid’s Tale.

Not really. We all KNEW they’d never be able to communicate with each other in reality, but those authory/filmy guys just went ahead and had them “talking” to each other. The genre deserved open ridicule at that point, not merely being dismissed.