Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia

Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia

by John Clute

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-Clute defines science fiction as ``...any story that argues the case for a changed world that has not yet come into being.'' Arranged primarily by decade within each of eight chapters, the book covers visions of the future (accurate and off the mark); themes in history; influential magazines (from early pulp to the present); major authors (there are sketches of over 100 writers, photographs, signatures, and chronological bibliographies of major works); classic titles; graphic works; and genre films and international television. Timetables in the chapter on history include science-fiction events; film, radio, and TV; and magazines and world events. Pictures of magazine and book covers are first or early editions.-Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA
Zom Zoms
Clute, coauthor of the award-winning "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction" ["RBB" N 1 93], has compiled a beautifully illustrated work on the same subject. Not alphabetically arranged, the book is divided into chapters that cover themes in science fiction, history, magazines, major authors, classic titles, graphic works, film, and television. It concludes with a glossary of terms and an index with page numbers in boldface type for main entries The intelligent use of illustrations in this work truly demonstrates the old maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words. Clute is very clever in selecting just the right images to illustrate his theme. For example, in the section titled "The 1900s: The Future of the City" are juxtaposed drawings of future cities as seen by H. G. Wells and Winsor McCay with views of New York City in ruins from John Ames Mitchell's "The Last American". Clute includes photographs or sketches of authors, stills from movies and TV programs, and covers of magazines and books to show the depth and range of science fiction literature. He also makes effective use of chronology to show both the history of science fiction and contemporary world events that affected the writers. A brilliant illustration of this technique is the section on the years 194049, which recounts World War II with Pearl Harbor, atomic weapons, paper shortages, and such publications as "The Gremlins" and such movies as "The Purple Monster Strikes" and "Superman" The section on authors is one of the book's greatest strengths. Following a picture of the author, and his or her dates, nationality, other names, and key works, an essay characterizing the author's work is interspersed with book covers and a boxed bibliography giving date, title, and publisher. For major authors such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke, the coverage is more than two pages. Newer authors such as David Brin and Connie Willis are given about half a page The "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction", which Clute coauthored with Peter Nicholls, is more scholarly and more detailed but does not have any illustrations. Libraries that own the earlier encyclopedia may not need to buy the illustrated one, but it would be a shame to deprive readers of this attractive volume. It is highly recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

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Product Details

DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American edition
Product dimensions:
9.99(w) x 11.78(h) x 1.00(d)

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