Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day

Science Fiction Writers: Critical Studies of the Major Authors from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Day

by Richard Bleiler, Richard Bleiler
     
 
Since 1982, when the first edition of Science Fiction Writers was published, many important writers have joined the pantheon of greats in the field. And in many cases new novels have changed a writers career or new historical discoveries demanded a significantly revised assessment of a writer. For example, not only has an unpublished manuscript by Jules Verne been

Overview

Since 1982, when the first edition of Science Fiction Writers was published, many important writers have joined the pantheon of greats in the field. And in many cases new novels have changed a writers career or new historical discoveries demanded a significantly revised assessment of a writer. For example, not only has an unpublished manuscript by Jules Verne been discovered, but literary historians now suspect that his son may have written much of his work! Meanwhile, Jack Williamson, who started writing in 1926, has just published his finest novel. While retaining the best of this classic reference work, the editors have added 24 separate, completely new articles to the volume. In addition, all of the original articles have been updated or revised as necessary, from bibliographical updates to lengthy additions and in-depth rewrites.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ann Welton
This oversized single-volume biographical compendium, originally published in 1982, is part of the Scribner Writers series. Containing seventy-five updated essays and twenty-three new articles, the work is the product of forty-two critics, and represents a thirty percent increase in the number of articles over the earlier edition. The contributors are, for the most part, either university professors with a special interest in science fiction or science fiction writers themselves. The informative and readable introduction frankly discusses difficulties inherent in trying to define science fiction and in arriving at a selection of authors who have had a lasting impact on the genre. The resulting volume presents a predominantly British and American cadre of writers, active from around 1850 to the present. Among the twenty new authors added are Katherine MacLean and Gene Wolfe. Essays, set in clear type and a clean double column format, generally include a photograph of the author. They are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the subject and are comprised of a detailed biographical sketch, a thorough consideration of the subject's opus and its place in the broader literary field of science fiction, and a list of selected works by the subject as well as significant critical and biographical studies about him or her. Given the level of critical expertise marshaled, it is not surprising that the essays are intelligent, insightful, and written with an eye toward both the impact of the subject's contribution to the broader field and to literary merit. Principal influences and topical concerns are discussed, and each author's placement in the development of science fiction as a serious literary genre is delineated. A detailed, comprehensive index that serves as a functional source of cross-references and a list of contributors round out this thoughtfully-composed reference source. This excellent, penetrating look at both the growth of a genre and at the authors who have moved the process along is aimed at college or university students, but could also be used to support high school research. Index. Photos.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
As an avid reader and lover of science fiction, I couldn't wait to start reading the sections in this revision of the 1982 first edition. It did not disappoint. Instead of sampling here and there, I ended up reading most of the book, especially the articles about several of my favorite writers. Eager to see what new tidbits were there and read criticism of more recent works, it was a bit like eating popcorn-you have to finish the whole bowl. Organized alphabetically, there are 96 articles about the "stars" of science fiction. The articles about Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Larry Niven and 16 others have been updated from the previous edition while twenty new writers such as C. J. Cherryh, Christopher Priest and Kate Wilhelm have been added. The articles vary in length and while they do contain some biographical data the real focus is on the authors' works. You won't come away feeling like you know much about the writers' personal lives, but there is plenty of inside information on their starts as science fiction writers, disputes with editors, quirks and an assessment of many of their major books, short stories, and articles. The selected bibliographies are treasure troves including lists of the authors' work, biographies and critical studies. For those that have been revised there may be an additional essay bringing readers up to date on the author's body of work or just updates as in the case of the article on Frederik Pohl. Most authors are featured in a black and white photograph, some of which are truly vintage and may bring a smile. An excellent reference for school and public libraries and a great book for science fiction fans.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Bleiler has updated and added a number of articles to this previously published title (S & S, 1982; o.p.). Entries are arranged alphabetically and include both 19th- and 20th-century writers. Each lengthy essay provides biographical information, the historical and/or literary context of the author's work, synopses of major titles, critical commentary, and a selected bibliography listing books by and about the writer. Black-and-white photos of the subjects appear throughout. Some of the 23 authors new to this edition are Greg Bear, Octavia Butler, Orson Scott Card, C. J. Cherryh, Harry Harrison, Pat Murphy, Sherri S. Tepper, and Gene Wolfe. Significantly revised articles include those on Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, H. P. Lovecraft, and Larry Niven. An extensive index includes the titles discussed in the entries. This useful resource will be especially appreciated where the genre is popular or a part of the curriculum.-Debbie Feulner, Northwest Middle School, Greensboro, NC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
New edition of a reference that provides biographical information, historical background, a bibliography, and critical interpretation of major works of 96 major science fiction writers. Articles are organized alphabetically and range from 4,000 to 8,000 words, each with a b&w photograph of the author. Contains a chronology and a name/title/genre index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684805931
Publisher:
Cengage Gale
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Edition description:
2ND
Pages:
1009
Product dimensions:
8.84(w) x 11.29(h) x 1.99(d)

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