The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders

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Date: Winter 2005
From: Extrapolation(Vol. 46, Issue 4)
Publisher: Extrapolation
Document Type: Book review
Length: 840 words
Lexile Measure: 1320L

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Gary Westfahl, editor. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders. 3 volumes. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005. 1395 + xxix pp. $349.95 cloth.

______, editor. Science Fiction Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 461 + xxi pp. $25 paper.

These two titles both appeared during autumn 2005 over the name of Gary Westfahl; and so one might think, if he were not so well-known personally to many of us, that "Westfahl" were the house name for a syndicate of writers such as "Clancy." Further, to write a review of this sort of productivity from the young Westfahl, whom I first got to know as the eager new academic that he still portrays, is similar to reviewing a sunrise or sunset. It is hard to see where the light focuses. In fact, I have seen Westfahl focus the artificial spotlight of argument on smaller topics such as the influence of Hugo Gernsback or other figures who need to be analyzed. But such focused light is not the effect in these two massive projects, and my figurative language here betrays my awe in the face of such huge productivity. I am foolish enough, also, to attribute some of this fertile energy of productivity to science fiction itself...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A144193038