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Contento, William G

Entry updated 25 March 2024. Tagged: Author, Critic.

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(1947-2021) US hardware technical support engineer for Cray Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and bibliographer. His books, beginning with Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections (1976; exp 1978) and Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections: 1977-1983 (1984), were – until Online SF Resources became first ports of call in the twenty-first century – essential tools of reference for researchers needing to locate short stories in collections and Anthologies; these texts were also highly useful as they clearly showed how often individual stories have been republished. From coverage year 1984 through coverage year 1991, the annual Locus Annual Roundup sequence, compiled with Charles N Brown, assembled in corrected form the monthly Books Received lists published in Locus, plus other material. In terms of coverage years, the sequence begins with Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror: 1984 (1990) and ends with Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror: 1991 (1992), all volumes with Charles N Brown. Despite very occasional omissions – due mostly to Brown's initial insistence on including only books actually sent to the magazine – these are still by far the most comprehensive annual Bibliographies for their period, most citations containing useful comment as well on the content of each title; from 1988 onwards, each volume also included a Research Index by Hal W Hall. Several years later, without the Research Index but incorporating in each iteration all data from 1984 on, the sequence was continued, beginning with The Locus Index to Science Fiction (1984-1998) (1999 cd-rom), and continued to be released on an annual basis until 2008. Less complexly formatted, but equally as thorough, the Annual Magazine Roundup sequence, beginning with Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index (1890-1997) (1998 cd-rom) with Stephen T Miller, covers all magazines in the overall field of the fantastic. [The generic sequence titles above do not exist in the texts; they were created here for readers' convenience.]

Contento also compiled, with Martin H Greenberg, the Index to Crime and Mystery Anthologies (1990), and edited some further large-scale bibliographies of crime fiction (not listed below) by Allen J Hubin (1936-    ) and others. The Supernatural Index: A Listing of Fantasy, Supernatural, Occult, Weird, and Horror Anthologies (1995) with Mike Ashley is also comprehensive; this won a Bram Stoker Award for best nonfiction relevant to the Horror field. Contento was a prime mover in the Fictionmags Index project, in collaboration with and hosted by Phil Stephensen-Payne, with input from many others [see links below]. [PN/JC]

see also: Eaton Award.

William Guy Contento

born Cortland, New York: 13 April 1947

died Cortland, New York: 13 December 2021

works as editor


Locus Annual Roundup

Annual Magazine Roundup

other works as editor


previous versions of this entry

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