Paratexts: Introductions to Science Fiction and Fantasy


In the mid-1980s, Easton Press began publishing a series of leather-bound collector editions called ?Masterpieces of Science Fiction? and ?Masterpieces of Fantasy,? which featured some of the most important works in these genres. James Gunn was commissioned to write introductions to these works, which allowed him to pay tribute to many authors who inspired and influenced his own work.

In Paratexts: Introductions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gunn has collected the most ...

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Paratexts: Introductions to Science Fiction and Fantasy

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In the mid-1980s, Easton Press began publishing a series of leather-bound collector editions called “Masterpieces of Science Fiction” and “Masterpieces of Fantasy,” which featured some of the most important works in these genres. James Gunn was commissioned to write introductions to these works, which allowed him to pay tribute to many authors who inspired and influenced his own work.

In Paratexts: Introductions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, Gunn has collected the most significant essays produced for the Easton series, along with prefaces he wrote for reprints of his own novels. Cited here are some of the most significant works of 19th and 20th century science fiction and fantasy, such as The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1984, Stranger in a Strange Land, A Clockwork Orange, Speaker for the Dead, The Postman, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, The Dead Zone, The Mists of Avalon, Dragon’s Eye, Nine Princes in Amber, Blue Mars, The Last Unicorn, and The Lord of the Rings.

Drawing upon Gunn’s lifetime of work in the field, these introductions include analyses of the individual works and the fields in which they were written. Gunn also briefly discusses each novel’s significance in the science fiction canon. Collected here for the first time, these prefaces and introductions provide readers with insight into more than seventy novels, making Paratexts a must-read for science fiction and fantasy aficionados.

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual
This book contains introductions and prefaces written by the author for a series of leather-bound collector editions by Easton Press in the mid-1980s called Masterpieces of Science Fiction and Masterpieces of Fantasy, along with a series called Signed First Editions of Science Fiction. They are compiled into this volume, along with reprinted prefaces for 13 of the author's own books. These prefaces and introductions are of value in their own right, as compilations of historical and genre-specific timepieces related to the growth and popularity of science fiction and fantasy from the 1980s onward; putting them all into one volume, as a timeline for these genres as well as a glimpse into the author's own writing and scholarship on the topics, is a gem for science fiction and fantasy readers, especially since many of these books have since become classics in the literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810891227
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/16/2013
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James Gunn, emeritus professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, has published nearly one hundred short stories and more than forty books, including the novels The Immortals and The Joy Makers. His books about science fiction include Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction, The Science of Science Fiction Writing, and the six-volume The Road to Science Fiction. Gunn is the twenty-fourth writer recognized by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America as a grand master.
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Table of Contents



Prefaces (to books by James Gunn)
Star Bridge
Station in Space
Breaking Point
The Immortals
The Joy Makers
The Magicians
Some Dreams Are Nightmares
The Burning
The Listeners
Human Voices
Gift from the Stars
The Dreamers

Masterpieces of Science Fiction
Masterpieces and Me
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
The World of Null-A, A. E. van Vogt
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1984, George Orwell
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
Fury, Henry Kuttner
Out of the Silent Planet, C. S. Lewis
The Moon Pool, A. Merritt
What Mad Universe, Fredric Brown
Blood Music, Greg Bear
Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
Islands in the Net, Bruce Sterling
The Postman, David Brin
When Gravity Fails, George Alec Effinger
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, Douglas Adams
Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
Doomsday Book, Connie Willis
Brute Orbits, George Zebrowski
City, Clifford D. Simak
Flatland, Edwin A. Abbott
Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
The Island of Dr. Moreau, H. G. Wells
The Sword of the Lictor, Gene Wolfe
Jem, Frederik Pohl
The Lost World, Arthur Conan Doyle
The Dead Zone, Stephen King

Masterpieces of Fantasy
The Other Side of the Mirror
Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny
Magician, Raymond E. Feist
The Malacia Tapestry, Brian W. Aldiss
Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, Robert A. Heinlein
The Belgariad, Pawn of Prophecy, David Eddings
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Lord Foul’s Bane, Stephen Donaldson
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Three Hearts and Three Lions, Poul Anderson
The Complete Compleat Enchanter, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Darker Than You Think, Jack Williamson
Black Easter and The Day After Judgment, James Blish
Gather, Darkness!, Fritz Leiber
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle
Little, Big, John Crowley
The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
Lord Valentine’s Castle, Robert Silverberg

Signed First Editions of Science Fiction
Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold
Ancient Shores, Jack McDevitt
Blue Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson
Cloud’s Rider, C. J. Cherryh
Cosm, Gregory Benford
Destiny’s Road, Larry Niven
Dragon’s Eye, Anne McCaffrey
Dreamfall, Joan D. Vinge
Evolution’s Shore, Ian McDonald
A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, Ursula K. LeGuin
Illegal Alien, Robert J. Sawyer
Lifehouse, Spider Robinson
The Memory Cathedral, Jack Dann
Moonrise, Ben Bova

About the Author

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