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Routledge SF Companion: reviews

By Adam Roberts | July 18, 2009
Categories: Lit Crit

Gary K Wolfe in Locus doesnae like it very much: 'occupies a hazily defined territory ... there seems to have been a limited attempt to avoid overlap between the essays ... the index reveals Donna Harraway is cited 17 times and the Star Wars trilogy 26 times, Gene Wolfe is mentioned on four pages'. My own essay, on the Copernican Revolution, is 'an oddity', which is either good or bad, but presumably the latter.

But, look, here's Nick Hubble in Strange Horizons, who likes it a good deal: 'The editors ... are to be highly commended for assembling a superb team of contributors and producing a volume that is both an outstanding work of reference in its own right and a comprehensive guide to science fiction and the scholarship surrounding it. This is a book which will last, informing and challenging scholars at all levels for many years to come. Its success will not be measured simply in sales or the number of subsequent editions, but in the work it will inspire as SF continues to grow as an academic field.' Excellent!

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2 Comments to-date;

2 Responses to “Routledge SF Companion: reviews”

  1. Mika Loponen Says:
    July 18th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Hmm hmm. I'm just half the way through the tome, but for me, it seems to mix some *very* good sections and some odd emphases; on the latter side, I think some very important names were missing - for example, for me it feels that it is impossible to discuss weird fiction without at least mentioning the more fantasy oriented authors (e.g. Howard) and their effects on the earlier pulp science fiction. I may be too partial here, but I sensed the same theme in at least some other parts of the book; it seems to me that there is still a bit of a bias towards "pure science fiction" with some of the roots in other genres passed by a bit too easily. But this may be remedied by reading the rest of the articles. :)

    (As a huge fan, the first name I checked from the index and then in the texts was Gene Wolfe; unlike Gary W., I didn't think Gene W. was passed over in the book, nor do I think the mentions to popular science fiction epics such as Star Wars was overblown in any way. But these are pure YMMV cases, of course.)

    The article on Copernican revolution I found out to be a big "Aha!" (in a very good way :)); it provided a very good new way to line up the beginnings of the genre. The rest of the history articles have seemed very good as well.

    But enough ranting from me; I'll need to read the rest of the sections very fast to write a proper review for the book. :P


  2. Adam Roberts Says:
    September 12th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks, Mika.