Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood (Virago, £7.99) is a sequel to her dystopian vision of 2003, Oryx and Crake, and it continues with great verve the stories of some of the characters in the earlier novel. It is horrifying, prophetic, but also at times very funny. I loved the hymns from "The God's Gardeners Oral Hymnbook", which parody with some affection the Anglican hymns on which so many of us were reared. Atwood's attitude to religions, both pacifist cultish green and old-fashioned authoritarian, is complex and more intellectually stimulating than hardline atheism. And she is a brilliant coiner of neologisms and futuristic advertising copy.