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Barron, Neil

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

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(1934-2010) US bibliographer and book editor, trained as a librarian, who received a Pilgrim Award in 1982 for his work; he has produced some of the liveliest and most readable scholarship in sf, notably in the five well-researched editions of Anatomy of Wonder: Science Fiction (1976; exp vt Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction: Second Edition 1981; further exp vt Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction: Third Edition 1987; further exp vt Anatomy of Wonder 4 1995; further exp vt Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction: Fifth Edition 2004), which he edited and to which he contributed. These volumes discuss many individual books, both fiction (including foreign-language) and secondary literature; while losing a few titles with each reiteration, successive editions have sophisticated the annotated lists that are central to the enterprise, and which take up most of the space of each volume. The fifth edition, where most fiction has been coordinated into one list containing 1418 titles, is the most convenient of all to use. Barron retired from writing after the publication of this final edition. Earlier, working again as both editor and contributor, he also undertook a similar coverage of the vast literatures of fantasy and horror in Fantasy Literature: A Reader's Guide (1990) and Horror Literature: A Reader's Guide (1990), which were amalgamated into Fantasy and Horror: A Critical and Historical Guide to Literature, Illustration, Film, TV, Radio, and the Internet (rev vt as omni 1999). These various compilations, in their constantly evolving iterations, constitute his main life work.

Barron also founded and edited Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review 1979-1980, and edited the same journal when it was revived by the Science Fiction Research Association in 1982-1983. It merged with Fantasy Newsletter in 1984 to form the newly titled Fantasy Review (very briefly known at first as SF & Fantasy Review), for which Barron was review editor January 1984-April 1985. He was a regular contributor to the SFRA Newsletter. [PN/JC]

see also: Bibliographies; Collections; Critical and Historical Works About SF.

Richard Neil Barron

born Hollywood, California: 23 March 1934

died Las Vegas, Nevada: 5 September 2010



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