- Taschenbuch: 1296 Seiten
- Verlag: Orbit; Auflage: New edition (22. April 1999)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1857238931
- ISBN-13: 978-1857238938
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,7 x 24,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 7 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 899.790 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Encyclopaedia of Fantasy (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 22. April 1999
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This masterful follow-up to the 1993 Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an essential purchase for anyone who's serious about fantasy. Those who are serious about horror will also find it an excellent reference. The works of prolific and confusing authors such as Michael Moorcock, as well as authors such as J R R Tolkien, who have many posthumously published fragments are explained with admirable clarity. Especially fascinating are the numerous terms for motifs and themes, constituting what the editors call a map of the many "fuzzy sets" in the universe of fantasy fiction--terms such as "crosshatch," "polder" and "water margin." There are many entries on horror movies and the better-known horror writers (only writers who write no fantasy, such as Richard Laymon, are excluded). You'll also find carefully written definitions of horror, dark fantasy, supernatural fiction, gothic fiction, sychological thrillers and weird fiction. Locus calls The Encyclopedia of Fantasy "massive and welcome" and writes: "This will be the standard reference for years to come." --Amazon.com
"If you are in any way involved in the business of fantasy, or a serious collector, or a dedicated student, you really won't want to be without it...Very highly recommended." --Realms of Fantasy
"An excellent and highly readable source for fantasy, the first of its kind." --Library Journal
"An extremely well done work that will appeal to a variety of users. It brings together the entire universe of fantasy in one volume. " ---Booklist
"There is a seemingly inexhaustible wealth of material here." --The Economist
"Worth every penny. This is a companion volume to Clute and Peter Nicholls' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction-same price. These two heavy tomes are the finest and most user-friendly references the unreal genre has known." --Rocky Mountain News
I had coveted this book for quite some time before I ordered my copy. Aside from being a longtime and irredeemable fantasy geek, I am also an English teacher at a small independent school, and our reference library has a copy. This fact has enabled me to waste many happy free periods rifling through the _Encyclopedia_ instead of, say, grading papers or thinking deep, serious thoughts about the state of pedagogy in America. But before you write me off as a disgrace to my profession, hear me out:
_The Encyclopedia of Fantasy_ is a remarkable book, and any time I have spent with it in lieu of more mundane tasks is time very well spent indeed. I can even justify this frivolous perusal academically, because what really makes the _Encyclopedia_ a great resource isn't so much its exhaustive listing of authors or titles (much of which information is available elsewhere anyway), but the fact that Clute et al. have managed to accomplish nothing less than a rigorous, consistent, and phenomenally well cross-referenced taxonomy and analytical vocabulary for fantasy. I know, I know, that sounds awfully dry, but it isn't.
I'm a word junkie, so I love learning apt new terms for things, especially if those nameless concepts have gone begging for far too long. When Clute coins the term "thinning" to describe any fantasy world that, over time, loses its magic [Middle-earth, anyone?], you cannot help (assuming you're an aficionado of the genre) but say to yourself, "Aha! Now I know what to call it!" Furthermore, the fact that this vocabulary is employed consistently throughout the _Encyclopedia_ allows for thematic and formal juxtapositions of specific works, combinations and comparisons that might not occur even to the serious fantasy buff. Who needs hypertext when you've got such meticulous cross-indexing?
I recently received an Amazon.com gift certificate from thoughtful in-laws, and decided that even though I have access to a copy at school, I had to have an _Encyclopedia of Fantasy_ at home, both for reference while reading/writing and for couch-sprawl browsing.
I splurged and bought the $75.00 hardback. I had a hunch it would get a lot of use, and I wanted it to last. Money very well spent, as far as I'm concerned, and if you're a fantasy partisan, a literary theory wonk, or just someone who gets off on thousands of pages of really, really small type, you'll probably agree.
As can be expected with any book this size, mistakes have crept in. Within the first few days, I found several errors, mostly minor. A book attributed to Lynn Abbey which was written by Robert Asprin, a mistaken title for a book by Charles de Lint, that sort of thing. These mistakes, however are minor.
Perhaps a bigger problem with the Encyclopedia is the strange inclusion and omission of authors. Neither Sterling Lanier or Steven Frankos are included in the book, however Steve Szylagi, who has written a single fantasy novel has received an entry. According to Clute, the book does not claim to be as complete as its predecessor, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and the editors were forced to make some cuts. It would have been nice if he could have given some hint as to the selection criteria in the front matter. One friend suggested that if an author was included in the first book they would be left out of the second book, but too many authors appear in both books for this rule of thumb to be applied (Charles de Lint, Mervyn Peake, Larry Niven, etc.)
A larger percentage of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is given over to thematic entries than The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Fantasy, however, has more common themes and prototypes than science fiction does, therefore making these types of entries a larger portion of any survey of the field. Still, the reader has to wonder about entries such as "Pornographic Fantasy Movies" which is so vague ("few researchers are willing to sit through the stuff...") as to be titillating rather than informative.
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy also repeats one of the faults of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. The author entries could contain more biographical data to supplement the bibliographical data already included. I'm not looking for gossip, merely some idea of what helped formulate the authors' writing.
Despite these flaws, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a major and important reference work. Essential to any library. Clute is still in negotiations to issue the Encyclopedia on CD-Rom. He says that if a deal goes through, he'll be able to replace author entries which were cut from the print version. The electronic format would be a welcome addition to the printed book.
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