Reginald, Robert

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

The principal pseudonym of Japanese-born bibliographer, librarian (attaining the rank of Professor at California State University in 1984), publisher, editor and author Michael Roy Burgess (1948-2013), in the US from his early years; as Robert (or as R) Reginald he published his most important bibliographical and critical work in the sf field, including his first essay, "Anatomy of a Phenomenon" (Spring 1968 Charter: Journal of Liberal Arts), which was assembled with later work in Xenograffiti: Essays on Fantastic Literature (coll 1996; rev vt Xenograffiti: Essays on Fantastic Literature and Other Divers Topics, Second Edition 2005); almost all his fiction was under this name, though his first tale, The Attempted Assassination of John F. Kennedy: A Political Fantasy (1976 chap; rev vt If J.F.K. Had Lived: A Political Scenario 1982 chap with Jeffrey M Elliot) was initially released as by Lucas Webb; it is an Alternate-History tale in which monarchies have been retained worldwide and Kennedy is not killed. Burgess also used his main pseudonym as publisher and editor of the Borgo Press in California between 1975 and the end of 1998, and in its later incarnation as a quasi-autonomous imprint of Wildside Press from 2004; Borgo is a Small Press that has published a large number monographs on and bibliographical studies of sf, fantasy and horror, as well as some fiction.

Under his own name, Burgess published less widely, his most important sf work under the latter form of his name being Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (1992; exp vt Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, Second Edition 2002), a critical analysis of the increasing mass of reference works about the field; less frequently used pseudonyms include Boden Clarke, C Everett Cooper and Lucas Webb (see above). Burgess wrote on himself in The Work of R. Reginald: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide (1985 chap as Michael Burgess and Jeffrey M Elliot; exp vt The Work of Robert Reginald: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide 1992 as Michael Burgess edited by Boden Clarke).

The various incarnations of Reginald's most important bibliographical works intermittently occupied his scholarly career ever since their first publications. His first book, Stella Nova: The Contemporary Science Fiction Authors (1970 chap anon; rev vt Contemporary Science Fiction Authors, First Edition 1974), eventually became the second volume of his magnum opus, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist, 1700-1974, with Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II (1979 2vols), the first volume of which listed over 15,000 titles up to the end of 1974. The long-awaited supplement to this essential reference tool was broken back down into separate enterprises, with Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature 1975-1991: A Bibliography of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Fiction Books and Nonfiction Monographs (1992), being restricted to an updating of the checklist alone, to which it adds a further 22,000 titles; an augmented biographical volume, building on the original Stella Nova, did not however appear (> Bibliographies) [for further details on vts and expansions throughout, see Checklist below]

Other bibliographical publications of interest include: Cumulative Paperback Index, 1939-1959: A Comprehensive Bibliographic Guide to 14,000 Mass-Market Paperback Books of 33 Publishers under 69 Imprints (1973) as Reginald with M R Burgess; Science Fiction & Fantasy Awards (1981 chap as Reginald); A Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Library of Congress Classification Scheme (1984 chap; exp 1988) as by Michael Burgess. The Work of Series, book-length checklists devoted to individual authors, include The Work of Jeffrey M. Elliot: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide (1984 chap) as by Boden Clarke; The Work of Julian May: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide (1985 chap) as by Reginald with Thaddeus Dikty; The Work of George Zebrowski: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide (1986 chap) as by Reginald with Jeffrey M Elliot; and The Work of William F. Nolan: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide (1988 chap) as by Boden Clarke, with Nolan writing as James Hopkins. Mystery and Detective Fiction in the Library of Congress Classification Scheme (1987) as by Michael Burgess. The individual author bibliographies, part of an ongoing Borgo Press series by several hands over which Reginald exercised considerable control [titles not by him are not listed below, however] are devotedly thorough and accurate.

Before founding Borgo in 1975, Reginald founded the short-lived Unicorn & Son, Publishers (which produced Stella Nova), and was an associate editor of Forgotten Fantasy (1970-1971) and advisory editor of the Arno Press sf reprint series and Arno's subsequent reprints of supernatural, fantasy and Lost World books. Borgo itself began publishing titles in 1976, and by 1998 had released well over 300 titles under its own imprint – as described in BP 300: An Annotated Bibliography of the Publications of the Borgo Press, 1975-1998 (1996) with Mary Wickizer Burgess – as well as distributing over 1000 other titles. Though Reginald had become full Librarian at California State University in conjunction with his professorship, he maintained complete control over the firm, in collaboration with his wife, Mary Wickizer Burgess (1938-    ), initiating and silently collaborating on many of its bibliographical projects [see above] and publishing through it much of his non-bibliographical work.

Reginald also edited several anthologies for Arno Press, all with Douglas Menville: Ancestral Voices: An Anthology of Early Science Fiction (anth 1975; cut 1992), Ancient Hauntings (anth 1976), Phantasmagoria (anth 1976), R.I.P.: Five Stories of the Supernatural (anth 1976), The Spectre Bridegroom, and Other Horrors (anth 1976), Dreamers of Dreams: An Anthology of Fantasy (anth 1978), King Solomon's Children: Some Parodies of H. Rider Haggard (anth 1978), They: Three Parodies of H. Rider Haggard's She (anth 1978) and Worlds of Never: Three Fantastic Novels (anth 1978). Also with Menville, Reginald wrote two film books: Things to Come: An Illustrated History of the Science Fiction Film (1977) and, with Mary Wickizer Burgess also collaborating, Futurevisions: The New Golden Age of the Science Fiction Film (1985). Reginald remains of central importance to sf as a bibliographer of persistent exactness and enormous energy. He won the Pilgrim Award in 1993.

After Up Your Asteroid!: A Science Fiction Farce (1977 chap) as by C Everett Cooper, a desultory spoof, Reginald published no further fiction until the twenty-first century, when he released a number of titles, most of them in the Nova Europa sequence of historical fantasies beginning with The Dark-Haired Man; Or, The Hieromonk's Tale: A Romance of Nova Europe (2004). Of specific sf interest is the War of Two Worlds, a set of three Sequels by Other Hands to H G Wells's The War of the Worlds (1898); unusually, the trilogy was first published as a single volume, Invasion! Or, Earth vs. the Aliens: A Trilogy of Tales Inspired by H G Wells's Classic SF Novel, War of the Worlds (coll of linked novels, 2007) [for individual titles see Checklist]. Academentia: A Future Dystopia (2011 pod), set in a Near Future Dystopian California governed by the religious right; the Satire is sometimes heavy, but clearly uttered from the heart. [JC/PN]

Michael Roy Burgess

born Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan: 11 February 1948

died San Bernardino, California: 20 November 2013

works

series

Nova Europa

Phantom Detective

War of Two Worlds

Human-Knacker War

individual titles

collections

works as editor

series

Borgo Press Books of Science Fiction

Christmas Megapack

individual titles

nonfiction (for ease of reference, bibliographies are here listed separately)

bibliography

Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature

Paperback Price Guide

  • The Paperback Price Guide (Cleveland, Tennessee: Overstreet Publications, 1980) by Kevin B Lancer and Reginald (anonymous) [bibliography: pb/Steve Fastner and Rich Larson]
  • The Paperback Price Guide No 2 (Cleveland, Tennessee: Overstreet Publications, 1982) by Kevin B Lancer and Reginald (anonymous) [bibliography: pb/]

The Work Of series

Titles edited by Reginald on behalf of Borgo Press are not listed.

individual titles (selected)

critical works

nonfiction works as editor

links

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