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Attebery, Brian

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic.

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(1951-    ) US academic and author best known for his work in the analysis of fantasy as a genre [see Checklist below]; for this work in particular he was given an IAFA Award for Distinguished Scholarship in 1991, though the 2009 Pilgrim Award was given him for his work in general. He served as co-editor with Ursula K Le Guin, and with Karen Joy Fowler as consultant, on The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990 (anth 1993), for which he also wrote Teacher's Guide to Accompany The Norton Book of Science Fiction (1993). The anthology was perhaps the first attempt to suggest (and supply) a canon for the wider, more sophisticated but less coherent body of sf which succeeded what has been called consensus sf, in other words the sf that became dominant from around 1960, which is this book's kick-off point. The decisions as to which authors to include (or exclude) were by no means uncontroversial, and were minutely examined for heresy and/or breakthrough; indeed, readers who had thought of sf in terms of the thrust and (relative) certainties of the sf promulgated by John W Campbell Jr would have found surprisingly little to recognize or cherish in the compromised Realpolitik worlds here displayed. Strategies of Fantasy (1992) inter alia examines the notion of the SF Megatext. A later book of connected essays, Decoding Gender in Science Fiction (2002), was useful in itself for its contribution to Gender studies, and also for its detailed analyses of the kind of texts that had appealed to the Norton editors. Attebery is the current editor of Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. [JC]

Brian Leonard Attebery

born December 1951



works as editor


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