- Until the academic acceptance of sf there was no profit in bibliographies. Compiling them was a labour of love, very often carried out by fans or sometimes by book and magazine dealers; the first, tiny sf bibliography of all, Science Fiction Bibliography (1935 chap), was produced by The Science Fiction Syndicate, a group of fans. Until recent decades, few academically trained bibliographers paid any attention to fantastic literature; it was only the proliferation of work from about 1975 onwards that justified the publication of Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (1992) by Michael Burgess (Robert REGINALD), which annotates and comments upon more than 550 relevant studies.The Checklist of Fantastic Literature: A Bibliography of Fantasy, Weird and Science Fiction Books Published in the English Language (1948) by Everett F. BLEILER, the earliest important bibliography in the field, made no distinction between sf and fantasy, was incomplete and had inevitable errors, and contained no information on contents. It was nevertheless invaluable for researchers from the first, although to look at it in 1995 is to contemplate the distance traversed since, both by the field as a whole and, in particular, by its author - who has since concentrated on more specialized bibliographical work (see below). For many years the only comparable general effort was "333": A Bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel (1953 chap) by Joseph H. Crawford Jr (1932-) assisted by James J. Donahue and the publisher Donald M. Grant (1927-); this, though restricted to the titular total, provided valuable synopses of the 333 selected books, categorizing them with considerable acumen. Bleiler's Checklist was first added to by Bradford M. DAY in his The Supplemental Checklist of Fantastic Literature (1963), which contained 3000 additional titles; Bleiler himself then thoroughly reworked his original research, publishing the result as The Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1800-1948) (1978), which presented, alongside the corrected list, a useful category coding for most books included. But Bleiler's interest had by this point shifted to more specialized studies, and his checklist had in any case been superseded.Research in a field like sf, the basic texts of which are often elusive, depends initially on the existence of one central tool: the comprehensive checklist. Bleiler's selective version served well for nearly three decades, and Marshall B. TYMN, in American Fantasy \& Science Fiction: Toward a Bibliography of Works Published in the United States, 1948-1973 (1979), gave selective coverage up to 1973. In the same year, however, the definitive work was published: this was Reginald's 2-vol Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist, 1700-1974, with Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II (1979), which listed, according to fairly strict criteria of eligibility, three times the number of titles Bleiler covered and included a biographical dictionary based on Reginald's earlier Stella Nova: The Contemporary Science Fiction Authors (1970) and Contemporary Science Fiction Authors (1974). Reginald later supplemented the checklist portion of this work in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, 1975-1991: a Bibliography of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Fiction Books and Nonfiction Monographs (1992) with Mary Wickizer Burgess (1938-) and Daryl F. MALLETT, which takes into account some errors (very few) and omissions from the 1979 volumes while adding almost 22,000 new titles - more new titles in 17 years, it might be noted, than had appeared in the previous 250. Although - unlike Bleiler's later work - the Reginald checklists do not code cited texts according to the genres and subgenres contained within the broad field of the fantastic, they now constitute the central bibliographical resource for any sf/fantasy library.Also at the end of the 1970s appeared L.W. CURREY's Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of their Fiction (1979), a genuine first-edition bibliography which covered about 200 of the principal genre writers (a second volume is projected) and intensified Reginald's coverage; and George LOCKE's remarkably accurate (and intriguingly anecdotal) A Spectrum of Fantasy: The Bibliography and Biography of a Collection of Fantastic Literature (1980), which suggested en passant several titles that plausibly supplemented the Reginald Checklist; A Spectrum of Fantasy: Volume 2: Acquisitions to a Collection of Fantastic Literature, 1980-1993 (1994) continues the invaluable enterprise.Other forms of extensive coverage were of varying use. The Dictionary Catalog of the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1982) in 3 vols is a photographic record of the 37,500 cards recording the 20,000 items then in the J. LLOYD EATON COLLECTION (it is now badly out of date). In 1988, Kurt Baty began to produce what was intended to constitute a comprehensive index in loose-leaf form entitled The Whole Science Fiction Data Base Quarterly; by the end of 1991 about a third of the alphabet had been traversed, though only in draft form, with a vast proportion of titles omitted or only partially ascribed, and the project has become embarrassingly dormant.After gaining some control over the field as a whole, the sf researcher would then find her/himself needing more specialized aids as well. Sf was for many years a genre dominated, in the USA at least, by the MAGAZINES, and magazine indexes are an essential tool. The publication of an exhaustive index from Stephen T. Miller and William G. CONTENTO has been projected for several years; but partial indexes do exist, and have served well. They include: Bill EVANS's The Gernsback Forerunners (1944 chap), which indexes sf in Modern Electrics and other journals founded by Hugo GERNSBACK before AMZ;Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1926-50 (1952) by Donald B. DAY; The Index of Science Fiction Magazines 1951-1965 (1968) by Norman METCALF or, for the same period, The MIT Science Fiction Society's Index to the S-F Magazines (1966) by Erwin S. STRAUSS; Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1966-70 (1971) by the New England Science Fiction Association; and The N.E.S.F.A. Index to the Science Fiction Magazines and Original Anthologies 1971-1972 (1973). Since then N.E.S.F.A. has brought out magazine indexes usually on an annual basis and usually compiled by Anthony R. LEWIS, either alone or in collaboration. More specialized productions include Monthly Terrors: An Index to the Weird Fantasy Magazines Published in the United States and Great Britain (1985) by Mike ASHLEY and Frank H. Parnell (1916), and Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Fiction: A Checklist of Fiction in U.S. Pulp Magazines, 1915-1974 (1988), in two vols, by Michael L. Cook and Stephen T.Miller. Indexes to individual magazines - like The Complete Index to Astounding/Analog (1981) by Ashley and Terry Jeeves (1922-) - are cited in this encyclopedia in the relevant magazine entries.Of course stories are not published solely in magazines. In an ongoing project complementary to his projected story index, Contento has produced, in Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections (1978) and Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, 1977-1983 (1984), a highly usable reference source which, in addition to listing stories not initially published in magazine form, also covers those published originally in magazines and for one reason or another thought worthy of being made more generally available in book form. His Indexes, therefore, are an aid to the researcher, as the stories they catalogue are both valued and available; but Contento should be used with caution in this regard. He does not himself make any qualitative claims about the stories he lists in this format, nor is he complete within his declared remit, and no researcher should assume that unlisted stories are necessarily less rewarding. Contento's indexes for coverage of the years after 1983 appear in the LOCUS annuals (see below).From yet another angle of approach, Jack L. CHALKER and Mark OWINGS (1945-), in The Index to the Science-Fantasy Publishers (1966; rev vt Index to the SF Publishers 1979; very much exp vt The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Critical and Bibliographic History 1991), provides a checklist of (and anecdotal commentary on) almost every title released by the specialist sf houses, arranged by publisher. The 1991 version, 10 times the size of the first edition, gives its users an invaluable grasp of the shape - though it is less secure on the detail - of sf PUBLISHING through the 20th century; inconveniently, that first edition has been several times revised in successive small unmarked reprintings, with the result that readers cannot know the status of the volume they have in front of them.Two ongoing index series by Hal W. HALL are also essential. The first - comprising, the Science Fiction Book Review Index, 1923-1973 (1975), Science Fiction Book Review Index, 1974-1979 (1981) and Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review Index, 1980-1984 (1985) - along with its annual supplements - released under the full latter title, and covering, as of the volume published in 1994, the years up to 1990 - functions as an accurate if incomplete bibliography of sf criticism. And Hall's 2-vol Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Index, 1878-1985 (1987), which incorporates early reference guides, covers non-review research and criticism in the field; supplemental volumes, including Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Index, Volume 7 (1987), covering 1986, and Volume 8 (1990), covering 1987 (and see below), were incorporated into Science Fiction and Fantasy Reference Index, 1985-1991 (1993).In the late 1980s, perhaps following Contento's lead, Hall made a significant publishing decision. Although his Book Review Index remained a separate production, he incorporated further issues of his Reference Index into Charles N. BROWN's and Contento's ongoing Locus annual Science Fiction, Fantasy, \& Horror series, from the 1988 volume (published 1989) onwards. The Brown/Contento production - each annual volume being subtitled A Comprehensive Bibliography of Books and Short Fiction Published in the English Language - extends from coverage year 1984 to coverage year 1991, the last year covered representing the end of the sequence. Although it does not precisely replace comprehensive bibliographies like Reginald's (see above), it has served to supply sf readers and researchers with an enormous amount of information for the years 1984-1991; it is unlikely (unless the series is restarted) that any other period in sf history will ever be treated to as thorough and convenient a coverage. Its main deficiency as a research resource lay for several years in the fact that it was based on a localized books-received (rather than a books-published) basis, only books received for review by Brown's Locus magazine during a particular calendar year tending to be entered in the Brown/Contento volume for that year. As there is a very considerable difference between books received during a year by one magazine and books actually published during that year, early volumes of the series needed some getting used to. But in later volumes, a considerable effort was made to search out books not actually received for review, and, once the researcher understands this gradual change for the better, Brown/Contento begins to seem even more irreplaceable.Moving from comprehensive bibliographies whose remit is to encompass the field rather than to evaluate it, we come to research aids which are designed to provide a critical commentary. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1968 in 3 vols (1974, 1978, 1982) by Donald H. TUCK engagingly annotated a wide variety of texts, but its author frequently cross-referred readers to Bleiler for fuller listings. The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1979) ed Peter NICHOLLS attempted to list or mention all sf or fantasy books published by the approximately 1700 fiction authors treated, but the ascriptions in that edition and in this second edition (which treats about 3000 authors) are not arranged in checklist form, and are not intended primarily for bibliographical reference. Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers (1981; rev 1986; rev 1991), first 2 edns ed Curtis C. SMITH, 3rd edn ed Paul E. Schellinger (1962-) and Noelle Watson (1958-), though valuable for its biographical and critical sections, could not be recommended for its checklists, which were eccentrically conceived, inaccurate, and which remained complacently uncorrected from one edition to the next. The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1988) ed James E. GUNN lists without bibliographic detail selected titles by those authors (about 500) given entries.Broadest in scope of the non-encyclopedic projects are the three volumes ed Neil BARRON. The most relevant of these is Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction (1976; exp 1981; further exp 1987; fourth edition projected for 1995), which is a selective (but very broad) bibliography of the field, complete with critical annotations on each volume chosen. The other Barron productions, Fantasy Literature: A Reader's Guide (1990) and Horror Literature: A Reader's Guide (1990), are smaller and less definitive; but, it can be presumed, will also grow. Bibliography-based studies of particular periods have begun to appear, to date concentrating - very appropriately, considering the sf field's state of ignorance a decade ago about its earlier years - on the 19th and early 20th centuries. Darko SUVIN's Victorian Science Fiction in the UK: The Discourses of Knowledge and of Power (1983) and Thomas D. CLARESON's Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources (1984) supply complementary coverages from widely differing critical perspectives. And Everett F. Bleiler, in his enormous Science-Fiction: The Early Years (dated 1990 but 1991) provides what may be a definitive coverage of the period up to 1930 in the form of story synopses.Some thematic bibliographies had begun to appear before the end of the 1970s, including Atlantean Chronicles (1971) by Henry M. Eichner, Voyages in Space: A Bibliography of Interplanetary Fiction 1801-1914 (1975) by George Locke, and Tale of the Future (1961; exp 1972; further exp 1978) by I.F. CLARKE. More appeared in the 1980s, including Nuclear Holocaust: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984 (1987) by Paul Brians (1942-), The First Gothics: A Critical Guide to the English Gothic Novel (1987) by Frederick S. Frank (1935-), and Lyman Tower SARGENT's British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985 (1988). But there remains room for much further work of this sort.Specialized bibliographies of individual authors have proliferated since the late 1970s (many are cited at the foot of the relevant author entries in this encyclopedia), often being published by sf houses like BORGO PRESS and STARMONT HOUSE, or by individuals like Phil STEPHENSEN-PAYNE in collaboration with Gordon BENSON Jr and like Chris DRUMM, or by academic presses like GARLAND, G.K. Hall and Meckler. Several pseudonym guides specifically devoted to sf and fantasy writers have also appeared, including James A. Rock's not entirely reliable but intriguing Who Goes There (1979) and Roger ROBINSON's fuller Who's Hugh? (1987). Interestingly, although the fan bibliographers in general exhibit a wide variety of ascription techniques (some of these being of Rube Goldbergian complexity), they have often accomplished the most interesting work, and their productions are very much more likely to be up-to-date than those which appear, sometimes years after completion, from the staider firms.No volume like this encyclopedia could be properly written without the benefit of original research on the part of its authors. But, equally, no volume like this encyclopedia could hope to exist without the constant support and reassurance of every book mentioned above, and of 10 times again as many. The editors of this book are in debt to them all; specific acknowledgements can be found in the Introduction.JC/PN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.