Oct 13, David Hebblethwaite rated it it was amazing I was working on an A Level English coursework project about fantasy literature when I came across a cheap copy of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy at a book sale on holiday. The book had been published only a year or so before; a full-price copy would have been well out of my budget, but I could afford to take a chance on the sale copy and it turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. Its difficult to put into words just what it felt like to read The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and be I was working on an A Level English coursework project about fantasy literature when I came across a cheap copy of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy at a book sale on holiday. The book had been published only a year or so before; a full-price copy would have been well out of my budget, but I could afford to take a chance on the sale copy — and it turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. 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.
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Clute married artist Judith Clute in In , he served as Associate Editor of Collage, a Chicago-based "slick" magazine which ran only two issues; it published early work by Harlan Ellison and R. Though not explicitly a fantasy, this story of a dysfunctional family has a fantasy feel, rather like much postmodern literature.
Reviewer Ifdary Bailey wrote that this "everyday story of family life in a revenge tragedy , of relations and revelations, hidden identities and loss of identity, incest and inheritance, all brooded over by the Father Who Will Not Die, carries itself forward swiftly and surely to its conclusion with strength and control.
Clute has proposed it as the first novel in a trilogy. Science fiction and fantasy author Paul Di Filippo called it "a space opera for the 21st century. In the version , the beauty and the beast have sex together sex does not have to be genital to be properly arousing ; in the version, what they have together is family values.
An empty mind. An empty book. They are lumps of fat. They starve the heart. So perhaps it is time to call a halt. Perhaps we should establish a Protocol of Excessive Candour, a convention within the community that excesses of intramural harshness are less damaging than the hypocrisies of stroke therapy, that telling the truth is a way of expressing love; self-love; love of others; love for the genre, which claims to tell the truth about things that count; love for the inhabitants of the planet; love for the future.
Writing style[ edit ] Contributing the essay on himself for The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Clute wrote that his "criticism, despite some curiously flamboyant obscurities, remains essentially practical; it has appeared mostly in the form of reviews, some of considerable length.
And that is not the way English tends to be written, but it is the way I tend instinctively to write. Clute is the master of periphrasis and the circling, reiterated metaphor , employing pyrotechnic diction to summon insights that are at once calculated and spontaneous.
What is clear from The Darkening Garden is that Clute has read and internalized a vast range of books and cites them with accuracy and precision. Around the strange events—the undying father who impregnates his wives and children with strange fruit, the identities hidden even from the people themselves, the changes of location from New York to Lambeth to the ghastly death ship on which characters crouch and mumble—John Clute keeps his footing, playing over them the strong light of an individual imagination.
Images and metaphors, as in poetry, accrete, occur and recur, with not a word wasted. It is hardedged and brilliant, but it may be that John Clute, in trying to avoid slop, sentiment and longueurs, is galloping too hard. Choosing a complicated plot, he may be making the story go too fast to sustain the weight of imagery he puts on it, moving too quickly to reveal everything he idiosyncratically sees. Clute knew that SF was not only worthy of real criticism, but that it needed it. Clute said that Canadian SF writers, like A.
That he continues to publish his opinions with such wit and style is our great good luck. We need him. But we can also enjoy him. Paul Di Filippo was excited by Appleseed, writing, This book sits at the top of the mountain of achievement in postmodern space opera that has gone before, commenting on all its predecessors not coincidentally, the name of the vanished alien elders in the book itself while adding its glittering capstone to the peak.
Any reader with even a passing familiarity with SF will unpack scores of allusions in this novel and not only to SF, but to much other pop culture and literature , layering skin upon skin of meaning to the reading experience, much as the world Klavier itself is formed onion-style.
Or read it for the heavily recomplicated and well-imagined, if hard to follow, details of the setting and technology. Or for the sense of a truly different future Or for the occasional funny dialogue—particularly that of Mamselle Cunning Earth Link, the most intriguingly depicted character. At times I thought I detected echoes of Alfred Bester , in particular. Snider, similarly, suggested "Future Classic or Total Gibberish? While Clute writes in a poetic and wildly evocative fashion, he sacrifices style for substance.
Appleseed comes across as a peyote-powered academic experiment, a fusion of William S.
John Grant (author)
It is slightly smaller in terms of content, containing 1, alphabetical pages, over 4, entries and approximately one million words, the bulk of which were written by Clute, Grant and Ashley. The Encyclopedia uses a similar system of categorization to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, but does not include an index of theme entries. A theme index was later included in the on-line addenda: see "External links" below. One of the major differences is that there are no entries related to publishing. Neologisms[ edit ] The Encyclopedia often invented new terms for theme entries, rather than using headings that may have previously appeared in critical literature.
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy