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Once upon a time all literature was fantasy, set in a mythical past when magic existed, animals talked, and the gods took an active hand in earthly affairs. As the mythical past was displaced in Western estimation by the historical past and novelists became increasingly preoccupied with the present, fantasy was temporarily marginalized until the late 20th century, when it enjoyed a spectacular resurgence in every stratum of the literary marketplace. Stableford provides an invaluable guide to this sequence of events and to the current state of the field. The chronology tracks the evolution of fantasy from the origins of literature to the 21st century. The introduction explains the nature of the impulses creating and shaping fantasy literature, the problems of its definition and the reasons for its changing historical fortunes. The dictionary includes cross-referenced entries on more than 700 authors, ranging across the entire historical spectrum, while more than 200 other entries describe the fantasy subgenres, key images in fantasy literature, technical terms used in fantasy criticism, and the intimately convoluted relationship between literary fantasies, scholarly fantasies, and lifestyle fantasies. The book concludes with an extensive bibliography that ranges from general textbooks and specialized accounts of the history and scholarship of fantasy literature, through bibliographies and accounts of the fantasy literature of different nations, to individual author studies and useful websites.
Published: RowmanLittlefield on Jul 16, 2009
ISBN: 9780810863453
List price: $36.99
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This is a handy and thorough reference book to fantasy literature. It focuses on English-language writers, but lists writers in other languages as well. It is heavy on information, light on opinion, which to me is a virtue in a reference. The fact that it is written entirely by one person, himslelf a science fiction/fantasy author, leads me to be a little wary of his objective judgment. I have not, however, come across any instances where I could accuse him of bias. The volume contains a detailed chronology, an introduction by the author, and a reasonably thorough bibliography. The things I like best about it are the completeness of coverage and the recent publication date (2005).Mr. Stableford has also written the A to Z of Science Fiction Literature in the same series (The A tp Z Guide Series, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., number 10.)read more
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This is a handy and thorough reference book to fantasy literature. It focuses on English-language writers, but lists writers in other languages as well. It is heavy on information, light on opinion, which to me is a virtue in a reference. The fact that it is written entirely by one person, himslelf a science fiction/fantasy author, leads me to be a little wary of his objective judgment. I have not, however, come across any instances where I could accuse him of bias. The volume contains a detailed chronology, an introduction by the author, and a reasonably thorough bibliography. The things I like best about it are the completeness of coverage and the recent publication date (2005).Mr. Stableford has also written the A to Z of Science Fiction Literature in the same series (The A tp Z Guide Series, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., number 10.)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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