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The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

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This huge volume is the first comprehensive encyclopedia of the fantasy field. Not only does it describe the genre authoritatively, but it redefines it, offering an exciting new analysis of this highly diverse and hugely popular sphere of art. With more than 4,000 entries and over one million words, this volume covers every aspect of fantasy-literature, film, television, o This huge volume is the first comprehensive encyclopedia of the fantasy field. Not only does it describe the genre authoritatively, but it redefines it, offering an exciting new analysis of this highly diverse and hugely popular sphere of art. With more than 4,000 entries and over one million words, this volume covers every aspect of fantasy-literature, film, television, opera, art, and comics. Written and compiled by a team of editors with unparalleled collective experience in the field, it is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in the art of the fantastic. This paperback edition includes thirty-two pages of update material obtained since the hardcover when to press.


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This huge volume is the first comprehensive encyclopedia of the fantasy field. Not only does it describe the genre authoritatively, but it redefines it, offering an exciting new analysis of this highly diverse and hugely popular sphere of art. With more than 4,000 entries and over one million words, this volume covers every aspect of fantasy-literature, film, television, o This huge volume is the first comprehensive encyclopedia of the fantasy field. Not only does it describe the genre authoritatively, but it redefines it, offering an exciting new analysis of this highly diverse and hugely popular sphere of art. With more than 4,000 entries and over one million words, this volume covers every aspect of fantasy-literature, film, television, opera, art, and comics. Written and compiled by a team of editors with unparalleled collective experience in the field, it is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in the art of the fantastic. This paperback edition includes thirty-two pages of update material obtained since the hardcover when to press.

30 review for The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kalin

    So, what magic did this book work on me to earn its five amazing stars? What sense of wonder did it stir? Mostly, it showed me how different fantasy is from all the other genres--including science fiction. Or, sometimes, it gave words to my already itching intuitions. Such as this one: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1259382 "Subversive literary form", "the urge to change the reader", "to show readers how to perceive" are, each and everyone, stepping stones, springs from which I launch myself in m So, what magic did this book work on me to earn its five amazing stars? What sense of wonder did it stir? Mostly, it showed me how different fantasy is from all the other genres--including science fiction. Or, sometimes, it gave words to my already itching intuitions. Such as this one: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1259382 "Subversive literary form", "the urge to change the reader", "to show readers how to perceive" are, each and everyone, stepping stones, springs from which I launch myself in my quests for the Next Book. Almost a decade ago, I argued that one of the purposes and greatest merits of (genuine, not derivative) fantasy is to expand our senses, sharpen our power to observe. (While science fiction whets our reasoning and power to extrapolate.) In a world which is growing ever more complex (chaotic, if you will), the skill to be prepared for the unexpected is becoming vital. There's much more in this encyclopedia--such as the empowering function of fantasy stories to make us live through archetypal states and situations, and thus arrive at newer, vaster stages of our selves--but I'm short of time, and frankly, I'd rather get on with my To Read list. It swelled by over 20 titles as I went through the entries here. I'm an extremely picky reader, researching and cross-checking each potential Next Book; so you may well find 200. Read it--especially the Theme entries--and find your new paths to explore. Fair winds and following seas!

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Hebblethwaite

    I was working on an A Level English coursework project about fantasy literature when I came across a cheap copy of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy at a book sale on holiday. The book had been published only a year or so before; a full-price copy would have been well out of my budget, but I could afford to take a chance on the sale copy — and it turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. It’s difficult to put into words just what it felt like to read The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and be sw I was working on an A Level English coursework project about fantasy literature when I came across a cheap copy of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy at a book sale on holiday. The book had been published only a year or so before; a full-price copy would have been well out of my budget, but I could afford to take a chance on the sale copy — and it turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. It’s difficult to put into words just what it felt like to read The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and be swept away by its enthusiasm and knowledge. For one thing, the book is incredibly wide-ranging: it has entries on individual authors, artists, films and TV series; different types of fantasy; "motifs" used in fantasy stories, and more besides (flick through the pages around the entry on Tolkien, for example, and you’ll also find entries on tall tales, three wishes, Mark Twain, tricksters, Time Bandits, trains...); and it’s great for browsing, because there’s always something else interesting nearby. And the Encyclopedia is great for discovery, because it brings together so many different things, and finds links where one wouldn’t necessarily expect to see them — I’ve certainly found plenty in its pages that I wanted to investigate, and I still have a lot of investigating to do. Something else I particularly like about The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is that it’s not just descriptive; it has its own idea of what makes good fantasy (it should “release or even...catapult the reader into new areas of the imagination,” as John Grant puts it in one entry), one that doesn’t map neatly on to the published category. When I started reading it, I found that the Encyclopedia’s way of thinking chimed pretty well with my own developing taste; I also appreciated its prose style, which managed to sound knowledgeable without being stuffy. These became strong influences on the way I think and write about books, and some of that influence is still there today. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy did more to shape me as a reader than just about any book before or since.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A 1999 encyclopedia with an extensive overview of fantasy. Not only movies, authors, and magazines, but also themes. From FOREST and EDIFICE to THINNING. The thematic entries have a lot of interesting stuff. Though, since they do have a concept of fantasy, works that do not match their template may be discussed with the sound of an ax grinding. (Also some ax grinding on personal topics.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Muzzlehatch

    If there is a better reference work for the fantasy genre, I don't know what it is. This was last updated in the late 90s and the authors have said that it will not be updated in print again -- it will be online only. That's a shame for paper-lovers like me; I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent in the company of this, paging back and forth between entries. Sure, clicking through a website is easier in some ways, but thus far that hasn't materialized. Virtually every writer and novel tha If there is a better reference work for the fantasy genre, I don't know what it is. This was last updated in the late 90s and the authors have said that it will not be updated in print again -- it will be online only. That's a shame for paper-lovers like me; I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent in the company of this, paging back and forth between entries. Sure, clicking through a website is easier in some ways, but thus far that hasn't materialized. Virtually every writer and novel that I've ever heard of that could be considered part of the genre is in here; the authors seem to have missed nothing. You can probably get both this and its science fiction companion quite cheap now, and I would highly recommend them if you have any interest in the byways of the fields. One thing I really like is that neither book discriminates against the more "literary" figures (Angela Carter, Salman Rushdie, etc) who sometimes are given short shrift in genre-geeky references. The writing is generally serious, and I like the fact that "objectivity" isn't always the highest goal; no matter how popular a book or author may be, Clute et al are not afraid to cut them down to size, though never maliciously. A genuinely great combination of scholarship and fandom.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    One of the "must haves" for anyone who collects fantasy or just enjoys reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jc

    It has taken some time but I finally got finished. I never realized just how all-encompassing the genre of fantasy truly is.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Galloway-Miller

    This book has been an amazing help with all my questions, concerns. It was worth every penny. It is set up like an Encyclopedia with terms listed in alphabetical order. The amazing listings are detailed and list trend settings, novels, television shows and movies. The fantasy race definitions include the origin of the creature (original oral myths and legends), traced their evolution and list important writers and works that have presented them in different ways. This has also been an excellent This book has been an amazing help with all my questions, concerns. It was worth every penny. It is set up like an Encyclopedia with terms listed in alphabetical order. The amazing listings are detailed and list trend settings, novels, television shows and movies. The fantasy race definitions include the origin of the creature (original oral myths and legends), traced their evolution and list important writers and works that have presented them in different ways. This has also been an excellent source for terminology I do not understand and helps me differentiate between terms like dystopia and apocalypse. There are listings for books, writers, television shows and movies, as well as terminology. In addition to fantasy, it includes some limited information on science fiction and a lot of entries on horror. I can't live without it now.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Hebblethwaite

    Another pivotal book in my life. I found a cheap copy in a book sale, at just the right time, when I was really beginning to form my tastes in reading. It opened my eyes to so many books and authors -- and, more importantly, a way of thinking about fantasy fiction that really strucka chord with me. It's great to browse through, too: serious and knowledgeable, but also well-written and even very funny in places. I still have that copy I bought in the book sale. The spine needs repairing and the ja Another pivotal book in my life. I found a cheap copy in a book sale, at just the right time, when I was really beginning to form my tastes in reading. It opened my eyes to so many books and authors -- and, more importantly, a way of thinking about fantasy fiction that really strucka chord with me. It's great to browse through, too: serious and knowledgeable, but also well-written and even very funny in places. I still have that copy I bought in the book sale. The spine needs repairing and the jacket is long gone -- but I won't part with the book. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that The Encyclopedia of Fantasy has had more influence on me as a reader than has any other book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    Makes the fantasy end of speculative fiction worthy of serious consideration. Develops its own reading of subgenre through deployment of a coherent lexicon: thinning, the land, wrongness, and so on. The lexicon was likely developed more through the reading of Tolkien and other classics and less through acceptance of terminology of folklorists such as Propp, though that kind of influence is manifest also. Nifty in its identification of many sub-subgenres of fantasy, and useful in making distincti Makes the fantasy end of speculative fiction worthy of serious consideration. Develops its own reading of subgenre through deployment of a coherent lexicon: thinning, the land, wrongness, and so on. The lexicon was likely developed more through the reading of Tolkien and other classics and less through acceptance of terminology of folklorists such as Propp, though that kind of influence is manifest also. Nifty in its identification of many sub-subgenres of fantasy, and useful in making distinctions between high fantasy, epic fantasy, sword & sorcery, revisionist fantasy, and the other fifty or so items. Indispensable for those who think speculative fiction is serious business.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shellie (Layers of Thought)

    Need a big book to find all the questions you have about SF and F? This is it. It's an actual encyclopedia and it's a tome. A perfect antidote for geeks and newbies alike, writer and readers too, and any one curious about almost any element of speculative fiction. Get your glasses out since the pages are crammed with text, and expect a work out. This is a BIG book. Its section on fairies was fantastic! (btw - thanks Seak!)

  11. 4 out of 5

    R. Collins

    The tragedy of this book is that it was published before Harry Potter, clueless Bella and Jackson's Lord of the Rings films appeared. The value of the book is that an exhaustive collection of writers, artists and film-makers are gathered into one book (and yes, books are still more user friendly than wikipedia)and the whole genre is presented in a lively, considered and academic way. if you want to discover new novels, missed films and exotic artists, this is the book to have. Try ebay.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Allan

    There should be a six star rating for this, it's that good, too. Does your admiration of genre go beyond the level of 'OMG, Tolkien's elves are awesome'. Then this is for you. It's arrangement of entries might not to be everyones liking, but deal... Writing about it makes me want to go home and curl up with for a bit of random browsing. Bought my copy at Fruggles, which was an overstock and seconds bookstore chain that's gon. and probably cost me $5.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    Well, I can't say that I've "read" it, per se'... it's an encyclopedia. But, I have read large portions of it and have pored over it for many a happy hour. John Clute has done an amazing job coming up with a reference that is truly "encyclopedic." Anyone who is truly serious about the genre of Fantasy ought to have it on their shelf.

  14. 4 out of 5

    J.Shaskan

    This would be a fantastic reference work if only John Clute had stayed away from it. His entries are samples of the worst type of literary analysis - convoluted, riddled with jargon, and ultimately incomprehensible. And probably about half of the book was written by him. The other half is good, though.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Seizure Romero

    This and the companion The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction were indispensable in my bookshop. These two books made me appear much smarter than I really am (and they make great geek-out reading. People who own more than two dictionaries will probably know what I mean).

  16. 5 out of 5

    K. Axel

    Sure, I haven't read this entire book, but I've read some, and that... is excellent! Very useful and inspiring, in fact, the only problem is that its an encyclopedia from 1997...a lot of water has run under the bridge since then! I wouldn't mind an updated version...please!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kus

    Akhirnya tamat juga :))

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Slightly less out-of-date than its sibling, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and surprisingly broad. It's good to know that fantasy is more than just a sword and a smile.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Gourlay

    This book should never be very far from you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Perry

    An indispensable book for anyone interested in the field.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christian Lindke

    The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a must have resource for the fan of Fantasy literature.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    Simple really, the leader in authoritative knowledge on the subject.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Good all around source. Includes infromation on authors as well as themese, styles, and stock characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gill

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  26. 4 out of 5

    NONATION

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Đại Nguyễn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Xenophon Hendrix

  30. 4 out of 5

    Moudry

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