(1943- ) US sf critic, professor of English literature at Concordia University, Montreal. He became a co-editor of Science Fiction Studies with the November 1978 issue and remained in that position until the last issue of 1991; he remains a contributing editor. His Into the Unknown: The Evolution of Science Fiction from Francis Godwin to H.G. Wells (1970; rev 1983) is scholarly and informative, and something of a pioneering study for its time. Philmus also wrote the section on "Science Fiction: From its Beginning to 1870" for the first edition of Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction (1976; rev 1981; rev 1987) edited by Neil Barron. With David Y Hughes he edited H.G. Wells: Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction (coll 1975), and with Patrick Parrinder he edited H.G. Wells's Literary Criticism (coll 1980). A variorum edition of Wells's The Island of Dr Moreau (1896), edited by Philmus, appeared in 1993, but used as copy text the earlier and incomplete US version of the novel. His major twenty-first century work is Visions and Re-Visions: (Re)constructing Science Fiction (2005), which contains – clearly perceptible through a jargonized surrender to twenty-first century academic protocols – several exceedingly useful essays, on authors including Italo Calvino, Karel Čapek and Olaf Stapledon, plus some more usual suspects. [PN/DRL]
see also: Canada; Critical and Historical Works About SF.
Robert Michael Philmus
born New York: 3 September 1943
works as editor
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