Trim: 6 x 8½
978-0-8108-4944-0 • Hardback • September 2005 • $159.00 • (£123.00)
Brian Stableford is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at University College, Winchester. A professional writer since 1965, he has published more than fifty novels and two hundred short stories, several nonfiction works, and thousands of articles for periodicals and reference books.
Part 1 Editor's Foreword
Part 2 Acknowledgments
Part 3 Acronyms and Abbreviations
Part 4 Chronology
Part 5 Introduction
Part 6 THE DICTIONARY
Part 7 Bibliography
Part 8 About the Author
Stableford (University College, Winchester, UK) defines fantasy literature broadly, extending the history of the genre back to Homer; a useful chronology documents significant works throughout that history. As in Stableford's science fiction dictionary, the introduction offers a substantial critical exploration of the ideas shaping fantasy literature and its reception over time. The dictionary entries continue the effort to establish a useful vocabulary and taxonomy for this literature. Over 700 entries on authors interconnect with 200 entries on categories, themes, stock characters, and the fantasy of particular cultures, placing each particular in a broader context. This approach has much to offer students and scholars, but this book does not serve particularly well as a reader's guide; the emphasis is on classification rather than on conveying the distinct character of authors and works....Stableford provides an additional guide to further study in an extensive bibliography of critical works. Highly recommended. Academic collections serving lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers.
— Choice Reviews
...a comprehensive, thought-provoking, and important addition to the bookshelves of any scholar of fantasy and the fantastic, taking its rightful place alongside those valuable reference works on which it builds and to which it responds.
— The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Vol. 17.1 (Spring 2006)
This work will be of great value to public and academic library reference collections, creative writing departments, researchers, and to anyone interested in the wide ranging and vast fantasy literature genre.
— American Reference Books Annual
This book is recommended for academic libraries, and public and school libraries with large fantasy collections.
It is impossible to praise this work too highly....Not only is this book a rich work of reference, it is also an original contribution to fantasy studies. Strongly recommended.
— Reference Reviews, vol. 21 no. 1 (2007)
Ahhhh, two excellent new reference guides!...That Stableford is qualified to write these reference works is without doubt....Stableford's highly entertaining. You'll likely grumble or nod appreciatively about his opinions, depending on what he thinks of an author, but you'll be more knowledgeable on a given writer or subject than you were before you dipped into these two works....If you are a serious reader and collector of either or both genres, you'll want one or both of these works....Is each of them worth the cost of nearly ninety dollars? Oh, yes.
— Green Man Review
This alphabetically arranged reference for scholars and general readers covers the fantasy genre from its roots in the earliest literature to the present day. Included are more than 700 entries on contemporary and historical authors, as well as over 200 more on fantasy subgenres, technical terms from fantasy criticism, and some key themes and story elements (dragons, wish-fulfillment, Knights Templar, etc.). Novelist Stableford (creative writing, University College, Winchester, England) provides an overview of the genre's history and reception in the introduction. An extensive bibliography completes the volume.
— Reference and Research Book News
The Historical Dictionary of Fantasy Literature is a thorough and scholarly compendium on the subject and is an essential companion work for those libraries with Clute's The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. This is a must purchase for academic libraries supporting a curriculum of fantasy literature. It would also be a useful work for public libraries needing information on fantasy literature, particularly fantasy authors.
— Booklist, 5/15/2006