ASHLEY, Mike


ASHLEY, Mike
   Working name of UK editor and researcher Michael Raymond Donald Ashley (1948), who has a special expertise in the history of magazine sf, fantasy and weird fiction. MA's first major work as an anthology editor was the 4-vol The History of the Science Fiction Magazines: Part 1 1926-35: (anth 1974), Part 2 1936-45 (anth 1975), Part 3 1946-55 (anth 1976) and Part 4 1956-65 (anth 1978), now projected for 1995 release - minus the reprinted stories - as a straightforward reference work. The long introductions to the stories are packed with information, much of it unfamiliar, and there are useful bibliographical appendices. MA's other anthologies are Souls in Metal (anth 1977), Weird Legacies (anth 1977), SF Choice 77 (anth 1977), The Best of British SF (anth in 2 vols 1977), The Mammoth Book of Short Horror Novels (anth 1988) and The Pendragon Chronicles: Heroic Fantasy from the Time of King Arthur (anth 1990) and its sequel, The Camelot Chronicles (anth 1992); he edited Mrs Gaskell's Tales of Mystery and Horror (coll 1978), and 2 collections of Algernon BLACKWOOD stories. MA's work has also resulted in a number of nonfiction books, the first being Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction (1977), which is markedly superior to its companion volume dealing with sf, ed Brian ASH, and draws interestingly on original research; it covers some 400 writers. Two useful indexes, showing increasing evidence of MA's thoroughness, are Fantasy Readers' Guide: A Complete Index and Annotated Commentary to the John Spencer Fantasy Publications (1950-66) (1979chap) and The Complete Index to Astounding/ Analog (1981 US), the latter with Terry Jeeves. The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Lists (1982; vt The Illustrated Science Fiction Book of Lists US) is well organized and fun for trivia buffs. But MA's main contribution to sf scholarship lies in his next three books. Monthly Terrors: An Index to the Weird Fantasy Magazines Published in the United States and Great Britain (1985 US), compiled by Frank H.Parnell with the assistance of MA, gives proper professional coverage to an area indexed previously, if at all, mainly in mimeographed fan publications. Algernon Blackwood: A Bio-Bibliography (1987 US) is an admirable work, around 300pp of scrupulous bibliography with a 34pp biographical preface. MA's masterwork, however, may be the 970pp Science Fiction, Fantasy and Weird Fiction Magazines (1985 US), ed MA and Marshall B.TYMN. This book (which is not an index) dramatically superseded - in number of magazines discussed and in detail - the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1979) ed Peter NICHOLLS as the most comprehensive account of this difficult area of publishing, and is interestingly written, much of it by MA himself. The book has uneven sections, but is generally a triumph. Of similar importance is The Supernatural Index (1995), which records the contents of approximately 2,200 anthologies in the field. Other works: The Seven Wonders of the World (1979); Fantasy Readers' Guide to Ramsey Campbell (chap 1980); The Writings of Barrington J.Bayley (1981 chap); When Spirits Talk (anth 1990 chap); The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits (anth 1993), associational; The Work of William F.Temple: An Annotated Bibliography \& Guide (1994 US).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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