realthog: (Default)

I keep forgetting to mention that, thanks to this clever technology thing and the expertise of David Langford, the text of John Clute's and my The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) is now available online in searchable form. Here's the place to go.

I should stress that it's a 1997 text (with a few revisions up to 1999). More recent developments aren't covered -- although very many of them are treated in the new, massive, online, bogglingly huge version of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)
David Hebblethwaite, blogger and reviewer at Follow the Thread and elsewhere (and present on LJ as [ profile] thisplacehere), was asked by Reading Matters to contribute one of their "Triple Choice Tuesday" columns -- wherein reviewers choose three books that are, each for a different reason, of special significance to them.

To the delight of myself and John Clute, David chose, for his "a book that changed my world" offeering, none other than The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, edited back in the '90s by John Clute and myself. David has some very kind words for the book:

It’s difficult to put into words just what it felt like to read The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and be swept away by its enthusiasm and knowledge. . . . I’ve certainly found plenty in its pages that I wanted to investigate . . ., and I still have a lot of investigating to do.

Something else I particularly like about The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is that it’s not just descriptive; it has its own idea of what makes good fantasy (it should “release or even . . . catapult the reader into new areas of the imagination,” as John Grant puts it in one entry), one that doesn’t map neatly on to the published category. When I started reading it, I found that the Encyclopedia’s way of thinking chimed pretty well with my own developing taste; I also appreciated its prose style, which managed to sound knowledgeable without being stuffy. These became strong influences on the way I think and write about books, and some of that influence is still there today. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy did more to shape me as a reader than just about any book before or since, and that’s why I’ve chosen it as a book that changed my world.

His other two choices are Christopher Priest's The Prestige (in the "a favourite book" category) and Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal (as "a book that deserves a wider audience"). What he has to say about both of them is interesting and perceptive and well worth your time.

On the subject of encyclopedias, I have some further news of interest . . . but let's wait until the countersigned contract is in.


Aug. 28th, 2008 09:14 am
realthog: (new writings in the fantastic)

For those interested in such stuff, the two earliest Oz movies (1910 and 1914) have just become available for free download from the Internet Archive. They're both shorts (13 mins and 39 mins), and I confess I hadn't remembered the latter's existence!

Ain't this technological progress biz a wunnerful thing? When I was working on the movie entries for The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, it was my perfectly reasonable assumption that I'd never actually see the 1910 Wizard of Oz; now, just a decade or so later, I can download it for free in a matter of a minute or so and watch it on my puter screen.

March 2013

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