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The Science Fiction Handbook (Blackwell Guides to Literature) [Paperback]

M. Keith Booker , Anne-Marie Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

31 Mar 2009 1405162066 978-1405162067 1
The Science Fiction Handbook offers a comprehensive and accessible survey of one of the literary world′s most fascinating genres. Includes separate historical surveys of key subgenres including time–travel narratives, post–apocalyptic and post–disaster narratives and works of utopian and dystopian science fiction Each subgenre survey includes an extensive list of relevant critical readings, recommended novels in the subgenre, and recommended films relevant to the subgenre Features entries on a number of key science fiction authors and extensive discussion of major science fiction novels or sequences Writers and works include Isaac Asimov; Margaret Atwood; George Orwell; Ursula K. Le Guin; The War of the Worlds (1898); Starship Troopers (1959); Mars Trilogy (1993–6); and many more A ′Science Fiction Glossary′ completes this indispensable Handbook

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Frequently Bought Together

The Science Fiction Handbook (Blackwell Guides to Literature) + The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge Companions to Literature) + Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (31 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405162066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405162067
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 14.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 638,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Science fiction has been an important force in English–language literature and publishing for well over one hundred years. The task of adequately summarizing it ... would seem daunting. Doing it adequately and in a manner that is both understandable to the lay reader and even at times entertaining might seem an impossibility. And doing all that in fewer than 350 pages . . . forget it. But Booker and Thomas have succeeded. Bravo. As Mr. Spock might say, with the lift of an eyebrow, ′Fascinating.′ As is this handbook. Every decent library should have it, and every good science fiction fan should refer to it. I guarantee you′ll learn something and have your horizons expanded." ( Green Man Review , September 2009) Booker and Thomas have produced a valuable work that manages to find a niche in a suddenly crowded market for resources on science fiction. ( CHOICE , October 2009) "The book is ... rich, [and] diverse ... .If you are interested in science fiction ... you [should] run out and get a copy. Although the focus is on literature, movies and TV shows are also included. I highly recommend it. The book not only taught me and demonstrated its a potential as a reference work, it introduced me to works of science fiction that I had not read and left me wanting to go out and read them." (Exploring Our Matrix Blog , September 2009) "In short, The Science Fiction Handbook is a fascinating reference work that puts science fiction subgenres into historical perspective while offering more detailed analyses of representative corresponding novels." ( SF Signal , July 2009) In The Science Fiction Handbook , authors M. Keith Booker and Anne–Marie Thomas finally give the genre its due, and celebrate it, as well as help to distinguish it from other forms such as fantasy or horror. ( , April 2009)


"This book represents an extremely useful pedagogical tool, that will find a home in both research libraries and undergraduate classrooms."–– Phillip Wegner , University of Florida

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for the SF reader 2 Feb 2010
This is an excellent, informative and thoughtful book for anyone interested in the Science Fiction genre . . . but it is also a good book for more casual readers of the genre to dip into and explore. The handbook format of this book allows you to browse individual chapters that take your fancy or you can read it from cover-to-cover. Having now read it from cover-to-cover I am going back and re-reading chapters on areas that I am particularly interested in. Another real pleasure of the book is in finding new books and authors in areas that I have an interest and also the suggested reading and watching lists (for film and television) at the end of each chapter. My "to read" list has now doubled from reading this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent handbook for teachers of political Science Fiction 27 Jan 2010
By M. Sisley - Published on
The 'Science Fiction Handbook' is a fine text for teachers and students of Science Fiction (SF) from upper secondary and into tertiary education. It has an unusual organisation, starting with a thematic approach to SF with a decidedly political drift, followed by significant author notes and finally with a section dealing with texts seen as important for teaching SF at the undergraduate level. The Handbook certainly fits a need and can be used right down to upper secondary education as well as the fervent amateur. Up to date and punchy with some fine coverage of many aspects of SF, though little on anime and graphic novels. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart and Accessible 25 Aug 2012
By Chris B - Published on
A terrific resource for teachers and for sci fi fans: comprehensive, astute, engaging and accessible for non-experts. I was inspired to read many of the stories I didn't know and to re-read those i did know!
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars politically correct 9 July 2011
By chuck freeman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this does have merit, I was struck by the large amount of works by: women, minorities, gay and lesbian,and
non American writers that were highlighted in this book. Certainly SF has debts to, and glories by individuals in
all these groups. But I came away with the impression that diversity and political correctness were more important
in the works highlighted, than talent and contribution to the genre.
This aside, this a good introduction to the field.
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