Ruddick, Nicholas

Tagged: Author | Critic

(1952-    ) UK bibliographer, editor and author, in Canada from 1974. He has perhaps been most influential for his two linked examinations of UK sf, British Science Fiction: A Chronology, 1478-1990 ( 1992) and Ultimate Island: On the Nature of British Science Fiction (1993). Though its title ascriptions lack full bibliographical detail, the first volume provides an extremely useful chronological run-through of the British scene, each separately presented year broken into sections giving biographical information (mainly births and deaths), published titles, films and television, and general matters. Ultimate Island disputatiously but winningly distinguishes between British and American sf, paying due attention to Brian Stableford's argument that the Scientific Romance is central to the British tradition, which is therefore markedly distinguished from Genre SF as defined, for instance, in this encyclopedia. Ruddick's argument linking the creation of modern sf to the cultural and intellectual turmoil caused by the theory of Evolution is contentious, and for pragmatic reasons (at the very least) does not much shape entry selection here.

The Fire in the Stone: Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M Auel (2009), paying ample and welcome attention to the French tradition, is a detailed and incisive narrative analysis of what in this encyclopedia is usually described as Prehistoric SF, though the Apes as Human and Evolution entries draw on the same sources. Science Fiction Adapted to Film (2016) reiterates the author's earlier restrictive definition of sf, though the constantly intensifying critical interest in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley emphasizes the costs of such narrowness of focus; the book's analyses of "remediations" of text into film are, on the other hand, consistently illuminating. [JC]

Nicholas Ruddick

born Salford, Lancashire: 23 October 1952




works as editor


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