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21 review for A Very British Genre: A Short History of British Fantasy and Science Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dark-Draco

    This, surprisingly, is an immensely readable book! Any sort of 'essay' type publication can sometimes become just pages and pages of the author's own rambling glorification of their personal ideas, but from the first page, Kincaid is quick to point out that this is all only his opinion, and some great authors have been missed off ... if he wrote about them all the book would be 10 times the size! Instead, what you have is a very knowledgeable look at how SF and fantasy have grown in Britain. Mary This, surprisingly, is an immensely readable book! Any sort of 'essay' type publication can sometimes become just pages and pages of the author's own rambling glorification of their personal ideas, but from the first page, Kincaid is quick to point out that this is all only his opinion, and some great authors have been missed off ... if he wrote about them all the book would be 10 times the size! Instead, what you have is a very knowledgeable look at how SF and fantasy have grown in Britain. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and nearly all the work of HG Wells are the things that kick-started the genre, but over the decades it has shifted, evolved and grown as political and social changes forced it into new directions. There are a huge amount of authors mentioned, some I have never heard of, but a lot of firm favourites already. And all books mentioned are conveniently listed in the back - something that always has this bibliophile reaching for the highlighter pen! This could easily form my reading list for the foreseeable future. A great, short read - would be great to see another volume taking the subject into the modern day to compare today's authors with what has gone before.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    A very informative little book. Note that it's only about 45 pages long, but that's its only real shortcoming. It has a nice timeline in the back of when books were released, which is really helpful for contextualizing the releases relative to each other. A very informative little book. Note that it's only about 45 pages long, but that's its only real shortcoming. It has a nice timeline in the back of when books were released, which is really helpful for contextualizing the releases relative to each other.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://nhw.livejournal.com/460299.html[return][return]I found this useful as a contextualisation of a lot of the stuff I've already read and as a pointer for other writers I might enjoy -indeed, am surprised by the large number of writers singled out as significant who I haven't yet tried. Paul makes a lot of sweeping statements (Wells "perhaps the single most important writer in the history of science fiction", Aldiss "probably the most literarily varied and inventive writer since Wells") which http://nhw.livejournal.com/460299.html[return][return]I found this useful as a contextualisation of a lot of the stuff I've already read and as a pointer for other writers I might enjoy -indeed, am surprised by the large number of writers singled out as significant who I haven't yet tried. Paul makes a lot of sweeping statements (Wells "perhaps the single most important writer in the history of science fiction", Aldiss "probably the most literarily varied and inventive writer since Wells") which I struggled with for a moment or two before deciding that I actually agree with him. One or two omissions - Dan Dare gets a mention, but no other comics, and I'd have thought 2000AD (and the Dave Gibbons Doctor Who strips) are significant in this. Also because of the concentration on the UK, Flann O'Brien is left out, but ianmcdonald is in. And when one chapter began with the deaths of Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis on the same day as John F. Kennedy, I was hoping that it might end with a reference to another significant event in the history of British sf the following day; but it didn't. Still, you can't really complain; 41 pages of text, and (particularly appreciated) a comprehensive reading list and index at the back.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daneel Lynn

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill Reynolds

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jura Spitfire

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ansar

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mlakar!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marco Silva

  12. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  13. 4 out of 5

    William Goodall

  14. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom Calvard

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert Bowles

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Bowman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sylwia

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ebenmaessiger

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

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