Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Gary Westfahl has emailed, bearing information. It would appear that The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works and Wonders has a for-true publication date of September 30. It also has a somewhat garish cover, which looks like this:

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works and Wonders

For those of you keeping score at home, I wrote five of the entries, including Giants, Insects, Superman, Clifford Simak's City and the Wonder Woman TV series. They were fun to do, if labor-intensive. And you (or your local library) can score your very own edition of the massive three-volume set for the low, low price of $349.95. Let's take a look at the official Greenwood Press description, shall we?
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy
Themes, Works, and Wonders

Works of science fiction and fantasy are enormously popular among students and general readers. The combined effort of some 150 expert contributors, the 600 entries in this comprehensive encyclopedia discuss pervasive themes in science fiction and fantasy and give detailed attention to selected novels, films, and television series. Accessible to a wide range of audiences, this reference is destined to be a favorite resource for anyone interested in fantasy and science fiction. While other references provide relatively brief entries, or offer essays on a limited group of writers, this encyclopedia gives extensive treatment to the most important themes and works of science fiction and fantasy across a range of media.

Gary Westfahl, and internationally recognized authority on science fiction and fantasy, has coordinated the effort of some 150 expert contributors. In addition, the project was shaped by an advisory board of some of the most distinguished names in the field, including:
  • Richard Bleiler
  • John Clute
  • Fiona Kelleghan
  • David Langford
  • Andy Sawyer
  • And Darrell Schweitzer.

The first two volumes of the encyclopedia discuss themes, while the third volume examines classic works.

Volume 1
Included in this volume are 200 alphabetically arranged entries on such themes as:
  • Androids
  • Black Holes
  • Curses
  • Dinosaurs
  • Dragons
  • Feminism
  • Ghosts and Hauntings
  • Imaginary Worlds
  • And many more.

Volume 2
This volume includes alphabetically arranged entries on 200 additional themes, such as:
  • Lost Worlds
  • Mad Scientists
  • Monsters
  • Politics
  • Prehistoric Fiction
  • Race Relations
  • Religion
  • Sexuality
  • And many more.

Volume 3
200 classic works of science fiction and fantasy are given detailed consideration in this volume. Alphabetically arranged entries include:
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Brave New World
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Doctor Who
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Frankenstein
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • And many more.

  • Includes 400 entries on themes.
  • Includes 200 entries on classic works.
  • Covers literature, film, and television.
  • Employs the talents of roughly 150 expert contributors.
  • Overviews canonical and contemporary works.
  • Entries on themes define and discuss the theme, relate it to works of science fiction and fantasy, and cite numerous resources.
  • Entries on works provide critical information and discuss central themes.
  • Provides an alphabetical list of entries.
  • Lists entries grouped in topical categories.
  • Entries are fully cross-referenced.
  • Includes a detailed index.
  • Offers a selected, general bibliography of major works on science fiction and fantasy.
  • Numerous quotations from classic works highlight themes in science fiction and fantasy.

  • Students writing essays on particular texts will welcome the extended entries on individual works.
  • Students writing on themes will enjoy the thematic entries.
  • Helps students understand and critique canonical works central to the curriculum at all levels.
  • Helps students analyze popular literary works, films, and television series.
  • Aids students in comparing and contrasting different works.
  • Entries serve as models for student analysis and writing.
  • Encourages student research by citing numerous works for further consultation.
  • Fosters an appreciation of reading and explication by exploring works popular among students.

Canonical works of science fiction and fantasy are central to the curriculum, while more popular works are being taught with greater frequency and often appear on summer reading lists. The format of this encyclopedia makes it an essential tool for students writing thematic essays, and teachers will also value it as guide for planning lessons. In addition to high school libraries, public libraries supporting student research or book discussion groups will welcome the lucid, thoughtful essays in this encyclopedia.

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