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'Given that genre is really a construction of critics, librarians and booksellers, designed to place books in a way that they can be more easily found by consumers, and that fantasy literature is less easy to define than, say, crime fiction, this companion has a large field to cover and does an admirable job of presenting a good overview of the many authors who fit into this [particular] niche.' Stuart Bentley, Reference Reviews
Edward James is Professor of Medieval History at University College Dublin. He won the University of California's Eaton Prize for his book Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (1994) and a Hugo Award for (jointly) editing The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. He co-wrote, with Farah Mendlesohn, A Short History of Fantasy (2009) and he has co-edited a number of other books, all of them essay collections, with Farah Mendlesohn and others. One of these is the first and only academic book on Terry Pratchett, called Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature (first edition 2000, shortlisted for a Hugo Award in 2001). He is currently working on book-length studies of Gregory of Tours and Lois McMaster Bujold. Farah Mendlesohn is Reader in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Middlesex University. She was editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction from 2001 to 2007 and has also edited or co-edited several collections of essays, including Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature (with Edward James, first edition 2000, shortlisted for a Hugo Award in 2001). In 2003 she co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction with Edward James (which won the Hugo Award for Best Related Book at the 2005 World Science Fiction Convention). She has edited two anthologies of original science fiction and fantasy, including Glorifying Terrorism in 2007, and co-wrote A Short History of Fantasy (with Edward James, 2009). She is probably best known for her book Rhetorics of Fantasy (2008), which is recognised as one of the most significant contributions to the study of fantasy and was shortlisted for several awards, winning the British Science Fiction Association award. She is currently working on a book on children's fantasy for Cambridge University Press (with Michael Levey) and on a study of the children's writer Geoffrey Trease.
Introduction Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn; Part I. Histories: 1. Fantasy from Dryden to Dunsany Gary K. Wolfe; 2. Gothic and horror fiction Adam Roberts; 3. American fantasy, 1820-1950 Paul Kincaid; 4. The development of children's fantasy Maria Nikolajeva; 5. Tolkien, Lewis, and the explosion of genre fantasy Edward James; Part II. Ways of Reading: 6. Structuralism Brian Attebery; 7. Psychoanalysis Andrew M. Butler; 8. Political readings Mark Bould and Sherryl Vint; 9. Modernism and postmodernism Jim Casey; 10. Thematic criticism Farah Mendlesohn; 11. The languages of the fantastic Greer Gilman; 12. Reading the fantasy series Kari Maund; 13. Reading the slipstream Gregory Frost; Part III. Clusters: 14. Magical realism Sharon Sieber; 15. Writers of colour Nnedi Okorafor; 16. Quest fantasies W. A. Senior; 17. Urban fantasy Alexander C. Irvine; 18. Dark fantasy and paranormal romance Roz Kaveney; 19. Modern children's fantasy Catherine Butler; 20. Historical fantasy Veronica Schanoes; 21. Fantasies of history and religion Graham Sleight.