Topic: Library Programs and Services / Readers' Advisory and Leisure Reading

Anatomy of Wonder
A Critical Guide to Science Fiction, Fifth Edition
Neil Barron

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Neil Barron

Anatomy of Wonder

A Critical Guide to Science Fiction, Fifth Edition

Neil Barron Neil Barron

December 2004

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A classic updated, this completely revised fifth edition offers a historical perspective on science fiction plus incomparable coverage of contemporary and early SF titles.

Barron's classic work has been updated and reorganized to reflect changes in the genre over the past decade, and meet the needs and tastes of today's readers and those who work with them. Renowned experts in the field have contributed to this new edition, providing authoritative historical and contemporary coverage of the best in science fiction. Users will find succinct, critical discussions of more than 1,400 SF novels, story collections, and anthologies. In addition, there is a comprehensive survey of the secondary literature-books and other resources that discuss fantastic literature, film, and illustration-plus chapters on teaching SF and a directory of libraries containing significant collections of science fiction. Titles appropriate for or appealing to teens are noted, as are award-winning titles and titles of literary merit. Author, title, and theme indexes provide additional points of access. An essential tool for collection development, research, and reference, this book also supports readers' advisory work. Young adult and adult. Grades 9 and up.
In its fifth edition, Barron's Anatomy continues to be a wonder. Part bibliography, part best books list, it is a Swiss Army tool for sci-fi scholars, librarians, and fans. Following a critical survey of the genre, Anatomy offers a selected list of 1,400 novels, stories, and anthologies that represent the best of science fiction. Annotations outline each work's plot, historical significance, and theme. The rest of Anatomy consists of lists of secondary literature: reference works, criticism, author studies, even resources for teaching science fiction. Updates include integration of young adult titles, an expanded theme index, and a list of online resources.... Anatomy remains the seminal guide for the genre, a science fiction universe which readers and researchers will find worth exploring. Highly recommended. All collections.—Choice

An indispensable work, thoughtful, clear, well-written, overwhelmingly reliable, and--in the absence of an update of the Clute/Nicholls ^IEncyclopedia of Science Fiction^R--probably the most useful single-volume reference to English-language written.—Science Fiction Studies

This guide serves many audiences. For the devoted reader; the librarian providing readers' advisory; the collection development librarian; the teacher, from elementary school to college, it is an excellent resource. I would recommend this title as a necessary addition to college and large public library collections. It should be seriously considered for any library with a large readership of science fiction fans.—Collection Management

The fifth edition of this comprehensive, weighty guide features many enhancements over the fourth. The overall coverage is extensive, with three major sections presenting a series of essays on the history of science fiction; annotated bibliographies of primary and secondary literature; and author, title, and theme indexes.... This resouce is a definitive work on the field of science fiction, and would be of use in most college and university libraries, as well as public libraries where genre readership is significant.—VOYA

It is the best, up-to-date, all-in-one reference guide to what's available for pleasure reading in the market today...a real bargain. I'd certainly say without hesitation that it's an essential acquisition for librarians and serious readers of this genre.—School Library Journal