Margaret Atwood, an author well known to be deeply concerned about the environment, will see a special edition of her newest book, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (McClelland & Stewart) printed on special super environmentally friendly paper.
The paper, created by Vancouver-based Canopy, is made using with a special blend of wheat straw, flax straw, and recycled paper. From Quill & Quire:
Straw is already used to make up to 20 per cent of papers in China and India, but In Other Worlds is the first commercial book in North America to be printed on straw-based paper, says Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s founder and executive director.
The focus here, of course, is on preserving the environment.
Currently, about 60 per cent of trees in the boreal forest in Canada’s North are logged to make paper pulp. Second Harvest paper uses straw left over from the food-grain harvest, which has significant environmental benefits.
“[Straw] uses less water, less energy, less chemicals – all around it has a much lighter footprint,” says Rycroft, adding that the 20 million tonnes of leftover straw burned after harvest each year in North America could keep some 800 million trees standing annually, if the straw were used to make paper.
Though the bulk of the print run of In Other Worlds will be on recycled paper, a special edition of 300 signed books is available directly through Canopy. At time of writing, there still appear to be copies available, but it’s hard to imagine that will continue to be the case.
In Other Worlds collects Atwood’s thoughts on contemporary science fiction. From the publisher:
At a time when speculative fiction seems less and less far-fetched, Margaret Atwood lends her distinctive voice and singular point of view to the genre in a series of essays that brilliantly illuminates the essential truths about the modern world. This is an exploration of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as “science fiction,” a relationship that has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time as a graduate student at Harvard, where she worked on the Victorian ancestor of the form, and continuing as a writer and reviewer.
January Magazine’s 2000 interview with Atwood is here.