Science Fiction Authors: A Research Guide

By Maura Heaphy | Go to book overview

Introduction: Science Fiction
Authors: A Research Guide

What Is Science Fiction?

“… there is no fully satisfactory definition of sf…”

—The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction,
John Clute and Peter Nicholls, 1999

Depending on your definition, and the stretch of your imagination, science fiction has been with us
Since 1923, when the phrase “science fiction” was coined by editor Hugo Gernsback for a special fiction issue of his magazine Science and Invention.
Since the late Victorian fashion for “scientific romance” gave authors such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne a popular forum for working out the challenges associated with “Progress.”
Since the evening Mrs. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley took pen in hand, and created a Monster.

Or, perhaps, science fiction has always been with us, in the satiric fabulations of Thomas More and Cyrano de Bergerac, and the philosophic metaphors of Plato. Perhaps, Science Fiction was there as the monks illuminating the Gospels with gold leaf and finely ground lapis lazuli sketched fantastic beasts and gargoyles in among the Prophets and Apostles, or as Cro-magnon man, deep in the caves of Lascaux, made this wooly mammoth just a little larger than life, or put a particularly knowing gleam in the eye of that saber-tooth tiger.

There is no hard and fast definition of “science fiction.” (If proof is needed, see 52 Definitions of Science Fiction http://www.panix.com/~gokce/sf_defn.html.)

-xi-

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Science Fiction Authors: A Research Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction- Science Fiction Authors- A Research Guide xi
  • Alphabetical Listing of Authors xxi
  • How to Use This Book xxiii
  • Some Notes about the Text xxix
  • Author Entries 1
  • Major Awards 267
  • General Bibliography 271
  • Lists of Authors by Type 279
  • Index 289
  • About the Author 319
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