The author of the dystopian masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale has credited John Wyndham as one of her influences.
She described in an interview how she grew up with the speculative fiction of John Wyndham and Ray Bradbury in the 1950s.
“I was a big consumer of sci-fi and ‘spec fic’ in the ‘50s when a lot of it was being published,” Atwood said. “So it was the age of John Wyndham. It was the age of Fahrenheit 451.”
Like Wyndham, she dislikes the term science-fiction, and prefers “speculative fiction”. Just as he did, she wants to answer the question “what if?”.
“Once you’ve been intrigued by a literary form, you always have a secret yen to write an example of it yourself,” Atwood wrote in an essay for LitHub.