Cover image for Science fiction writers : critical studies of the major authors from the early nineteenth century to the present day
Science fiction writers : critical studies of the major authors from the early nineteenth century to the present day
Bleiler, Richard.
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons : Macmillan Library Reference USA/Macmillan Publishing, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 1009 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS374.S35 S36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



The Scribner Writers Series has set the standard for literary reference for more than 25 years. In addition to addressing the lives and careers of important writers, the articles discuss the themes and styles of major works and place them in pertinent historical, social and political contexts for today's readers. Novelists, playwrights, essayists, poets, short story writers, and more recently, genre writers in science fiction and mystery, are all expertly discussed in the more than 16 sets comprising this series.Since the first edition was published in 1999, 20 new essays have been added on authors ranging from Gregory Benford and Katherine MacLean to Lucius Shepard and Gene Wolfe. In addition, 19 essays have been extensively revised. Pictures of most of the 96 authors have been added, and the set has been reorganized in alphabetical order for ease of use.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In his introduction, editor Bleiler discusses the difficulty of defining science fiction as a genre and deciding which authors to include. This book takes a critical look at 96 writers ranging from Mary Shelley to Pat Murphy (b.1955), encompassing the "most important and influential" authors in the science fiction field from the early nineteenth century to the present day. The writers were chosen because they have played an important role in the development of the science fiction genre. With a few exceptions, only American and British writers are discussed. Unlike the first edition, which had chronological arrangement, this one uses a dictionary arrangement with names appearing in alphabetical order. Each signed entry includes biographical information, critical analysis, and a selected bibliography of primary and secondary works. Most entries include a portrait. This edition has more than 24 new entries, and most of the original articles have been updated and revised, often by the original authors. Some popular authors whose works are considered fantasy rather than science fiction have not been included. Although C. S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are discussed at length, his Narnia books are dealt with in only a brief paragraph and with no analysis. On the other hand, the article on Ursula K. LeGuin covers her Earthsea series in some detail. The length of each article varies depending upon the contribution the author has made and the number of books that are analyzed. The volume concludes with a brief general bibliography and an index of titles and names. This is a valuable reference tool that will be useful for general interest as well as for reports about an author. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries. Libraries owning the first edition, which was published in 1982, will want this update.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Bleiler has updated and added a number of articles to this previously published title (S & S, 1982; o.p.). Entries are arranged alphabetically and include both 19th- and 20th-century writers. Each lengthy essay provides biographical information, the historical and/or literary context of the author's work, synopses of major titles, critical commentary, and a selected bibliography listing books by and about the writer. Black-and-white photos of the subjects appear throughout. Some of the 23 authors new to this edition are Greg Bear, Octavia Butler, Orson Scott Card, C. J. Cherryh, Harry Harrison, Pat Murphy, Sherri S. Tepper, and Gene Wolfe. Significantly revised articles include those on Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, H. P. Lovecraft, and Larry Niven. An extensive index includes the titles discussed in the entries. This useful resource will be especially appreciated where the genre is popular or a part of the curriculum.-Debbie Feulner, Northwest Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Bleiler presents an updated, expanded, and alphabetical second edition of his father's retrospective work on science fiction authors of the past two centuries (Science Fiction Writers, ed. by E.F. Bleiler, CH, Sep'82). Like its predecessor, this work omits many significant science fiction authors and fails to provide complete bibliographies for those it covers. Though still a valuable source of material on early science fiction movements, it ignores many authors and movements of the past few decades. Author entries include biographical information about the author, a black-and-white photograph, a historical critique of the author's major works in context, short plot summaries for major works, and selected bibliographies of the author's works and of critical and biographical studies about the author. Because entries are entertaining and lucid, this work will appeal not only to literary scholars but also to college students and science fiction fans. It makes a good addition for academic libraries with science fiction collections or public libraries that cater to science fiction readers, but it should not be purchased to replace or update more inclusive works on science fiction authors. L. A. Beinhoff Pennsylvania State University, DuBois

Table of Contents

Chronologyp. xi
Introduction to the Second Editionp. xv
Introduction to the First Editionp. xxiii
Brian W. Aldissp. 1
Poul Andersonp. 13
Isaac Asimovp. 23
J. G. Ballardp. 35
Greg Bearp. 43
Gregory Benfordp. 57
Alfred Besterp. 71
Michael Bishopp. 81
James Blishp. 89
Ray Bradburyp. 97
David Brinp. 107
John Brunnerp. 119
Algis Budrysp. 131
Edgar Rice Burroughsp. 139
Octavia Butlerp. 147
John W. Campbell, Jr.p. 159
Karel Capekp. 169
Orson Scott Cardp. 179
C. J. Cherryhp. 191
Arthur C. Clarkep. 203
Hal Clementp. 213
Richard Cowperp. 221
L. Sprague de Campp. 229
Samuel R. Delanyp. 237
Philip K. Dickp. 251
Gordon R. Dicksonp. 261
Thomas M. Dischp. 269
Sir Arthur Conan Doylep. 277
Harlan Ellisonp. 285
Philip Jose Farmerp. 299
William Gibsonp. 309
H. Rider Haggardp. 323
Joe Haldemanp. 331
Harry Harrisonp. 339
Robert A. Heinleinp. 353
Frank Herbertp. 367
Fred Hoylep. 379
Aldous Huxleyp. 387
David H. Kellerp. 397
Damon Knightp. 403
C. M. Kornbluthp. 413
Ursula K. Le Guinp. 421
Fritz Leiberp. 437
Murray Leinsterp. 445
Stanislaw Lemp. 453
C. S. Lewisp. 467
H. P. Lovecraftp. 475
Katherine MacLeanp. 487
Richard Mathesonp. 497
Judith Merrilp. 505
A. Merrittp. 513
Walter M. Miller, Jr.p. 521
Michael Moorcockp. 533
C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttnerp. 545
Pat Murphyp. 553
Larry Nivenp. 563
Chad Oliverp. 575
George Orwellp. 583
Edgar Allan Poep. 595
Frederik Pohlp. 605
Christopher Priestp. 617
Kim Stanley Robinsonp. 629
Joanna Russp. 637
Eric Frank Russellp. 649
Margaret St. Clairp. 655
Luis Philip Senarensp. 661
Garrett P. Servissp. 667
Robert Sheckleyp. 673
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelleyp. 681
Lucius Shepardp. 689
M. P. Shielp. 697
Robert Silverbergp. 705
Clifford D. Simakp. 715
Clark Ashton Smithp. 723
Cordwainer Smithp. 729
E. E. Smithp. 737
Olaf Stapledonp. 745
Bruce Sterlingp. 757
Theodore Sturgeonp. 767
John Tainep. 775
William Tennp. 785
Sheri S. Tepperp. 791
James Tiptree, Jr.p. 799
Jack Vancep. 813
A. E. van Vogtp. 825
Jules Vernep. 835
Kurt Vonnegutp. 849
Howard Waldropp. 863
Ian Watsonp. 871
Stanley G. Weinbaump. 883
H. G. Wellsp. 889
Kate Wilhelmp. 897
Jack Williamsonp. 909
Connie Willisp. 919
Gene Wolfep. 927
S. Fowler Wrightp. 939
John Wyndhamp. 947
Roger Zelaznyp. 955
List of Contributorsp. 965
General Bibliographyp. 967
Indexp. 969