Did your last con visit leave you feeling out of touch? Was the latest issue of Locus full of unfamiliar writers? Or are you looking for a definitive analysis of the role of eschatology in science fiction? Look no further. You can find all the help you need, and the answers to questions you didn't even know you wanted to ask, in John Clute and Peter Nicholls's invaluable reference work, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. In the introduction, Clute and Nicholls write, "We see this book as more than merely an encyclopedia of sf; it is a comprehensive history and analysis of the genre."
With over 4,360 entries and 1,300,000 words, this is a jam-packed sourcebook on science fiction authors, books, subgenres, movements, and history. You can live without it, but why would you want to? It's got riveting trivia on every page, hours of browsing enjoyment, and endless potential for playing spot-the-error, a game popular among science fiction writers and fans. Clute and Nicholls have put together an admirable, ever-improving encyclopedia that tries to encompass a genre that grows new pseudopods every year. This is a great resource for fans and writers. Those with a yen for a more visual approach might appreciate Clute's Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, and fantasy readers and writers should definitely check out The Encyclopedia of Fantasy when the new edition is published early in 1999. --Therese Littleton