Slate: Can you tell us some of the science-fiction stories you’ve encountered that our readers are unlikely to have read?
Margaret Atwood: The Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The Purple Cloud, by M.P. Shiel. The Green Child, by Herbert Read. A Crystal Age, by W.H. Hudson. Donovan’s Brain, by Curt Siodmak. These are not recommendations as such. But you are unlikely to have read them (full interview).
The Purple Cloud, by M.P. Shiel. The Purple Cloud is a “last man” novel by the British writer M. P. Shiel. It was published in 1901. H. P. Lovecraft later praised the novel as exemplary weird fiction, “delivered with a skill and artistry falling little short of actual majesty.”
The Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The Coming Race, an early science-fiction work, with its superman race the Vril-ya, from which in varied streams has flowed the dominant civilization of the world spawned a occult secret society known as the Vril Society.
A Crystal Age, by W.H. Hudson. A Crystal Age is a utopian novel/ Dystopia written by W. H. Hudson, first published in 1887. The book has been called a “significant SF milestone” and has been noted for its anticipation of the “modern ecological mysticism” that would evolve a century later (sources: Wikipedia, Google Books).