points out an article by Margaret Atwood on why we need science fiction
that's too good not to relay:
If you're writing about the future and you aren't doing forecast journalism, you'll probably be writing something people will call either science fiction or speculative fiction. I like to make a distinction between science fiction proper and speculative fiction. For me, the science fiction label belongs on books with things in them that we can't yet do, such as going through a wormhole in space to another universe; and speculative fiction means a work that employs the means already to hand, such as DNA identification and credit cards, and that takes place on Planet Earth. But the terms are fluid. Some use speculative fiction as an umbrella covering science fiction and all its hyphenated forms - science fiction fantasy, and so forth - and others choose the reverse.
I have written two works of science fiction or, if you prefer, speculative fiction: The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
If she keeps this up we're going to have to stop mocking her for not getting it, aren't we?ninebelow
has a roundup of her previous statements on the relationship of her work to sf here