Westfahl defines a science fiction quotation as coming from novels, short stories, films, and TV programs (with some attention given to plays, radio dramas, and comic books) and being about works of science fiction or from science fiction writers. Organized under topical headings, more than 2,900 quotations offer the wisdom and wit of well-known authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov as well as lesser-known personalities like J. O. Bailey and Stirling Silliphant and from titles as varied as The Strawberry Window, Cat's Cradle, and The Thing (from another World). Westfahl has published extensively in the field of science fiction and received the 2003 Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to science fiction and fantasy scholarship.
Beginning with "Actions" ("What I do I do because I like to do," Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange) and ending with "Work" ("Even if one has been to the moon, one has still to earn a living," H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon ), many well-known and some more esoteric quotations are identified. Among other categories are "Belief," "Death," "Freedom," "Nature," "Reality," "Space," and "Utopia." The "History" and "Religion" sections, in particular, provide large and stimulating collections of quotations. Within categories, quotations are generally arranged chronologically. Titles in quotation marks are short stories, and italicized titles are books and films. An index of authors and an index of titles provide additional access points for readers.
In this well-researched work, Westfahl shows how diverse the genre of science fiction has been and remains. Most public and academic libraries will want to purchase. Susan Awe
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“A massive undertaking that would have daunted all but the most indefatigable of researchers—and one for which generations of science fiction writers and enthusiasts will be extremely grateful.”—Sir Arthur C. Clarke, from the foreword
(Sir Arthur C. Clarke)
“A collection of quotes from many of the most thoughtful, insightful, and witty figures in the field”
(Greg L. Johnson SF Site
“. . .well-researched. . .Most public and academic libraries will want to purchase.”—Booklist
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