From School Library Journal
An update of a book widely considered to be one of the bibles of scholarship on the genre. It offers an overview of the English-language science-fiction field for a wide audience, including casual readers, devoted fans, librarians, teachers, and scholars. The volume is divided into three parts: a history of science fiction; a critical examination of 1400 novels, single-author collections, and multiple-author anthologies; and a survey of the secondary literature such as film and illustration. Each annotation in the bibliography includes cross-references to similar works and a listing of relevant themes. The contributors include scholars, professors, and critics; their writing styles differ greatly, adding to the volume's appeal. The final chapter, Listings, consists of the best books chosen by the contributors, major awards, important series, young adult books, translations, and organizations. There are indexes for titles, authors, and themes. There have been many changes made since the fourth edition: young adult books have been integrated with the adult books in the annotated bibliography section, Web sites and author e-mail addresses have been added, and the comics section and poetry have been dropped. The third edition was the last to have an extensive listing of science fiction in 13 languages, so libraries that still have it may want to keep it even if they plan to update. This is a book that belongs in every public library. Those with a large science fiction readership might want to consider pairing it with Barron's What Fantastic Fiction Do I Read Next?
(Gale, 1997), which is more of a reader's advisory than a collection-development tool.–Michele Capozzella, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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Over 2,000 works of fiction and over 800 works of non-fiction are critiqued in this newly revised fourth edition of a classic work, which appears anew for the first time in seven years. This includes the new 'cyberpunk' genre, film and TV show listings, and organization and publication descriptions to round out the book focus. The book is most notable for its well-rounded synopses. -- Midwest Book Review
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