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The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy

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With a foreword by Terry Pratchett, this essential reference has been revised and updated for 2008. Lavishly illustrated and expertly informed it details everything the novice needs to know about the genre and everything the well-read fan is calling out for. This encyclopedia divulges just what constitutes fantasy and where the parameters lie, and celebrates the finest and With a foreword by Terry Pratchett, this essential reference has been revised and updated for 2008. Lavishly illustrated and expertly informed it details everything the novice needs to know about the genre and everything the well-read fan is calling out for. This encyclopedia divulges just what constitutes fantasy and where the parameters lie, and celebrates the finest and lesser-known works that make up the genre, be they books, movies, television shows or iconic images.


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With a foreword by Terry Pratchett, this essential reference has been revised and updated for 2008. Lavishly illustrated and expertly informed it details everything the novice needs to know about the genre and everything the well-read fan is calling out for. This encyclopedia divulges just what constitutes fantasy and where the parameters lie, and celebrates the finest and With a foreword by Terry Pratchett, this essential reference has been revised and updated for 2008. Lavishly illustrated and expertly informed it details everything the novice needs to know about the genre and everything the well-read fan is calling out for. This encyclopedia divulges just what constitutes fantasy and where the parameters lie, and celebrates the finest and lesser-known works that make up the genre, be they books, movies, television shows or iconic images.

30 review for The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I should not sit here and justify my reading habits - but for this one I feel that I should. There are many guide books out there - and I will admit that if you think about it, why do we need them. The internet is faster - cheaper and can hold and adapt information in a way books never can. So by rights guide books if this nature are self limiting the second they hit print. OR do they - you see for the internet you have to link one article or page to the next -to form one huge daisy chain of inf I should not sit here and justify my reading habits - but for this one I feel that I should. There are many guide books out there - and I will admit that if you think about it, why do we need them. The internet is faster - cheaper and can hold and adapt information in a way books never can. So by rights guide books if this nature are self limiting the second they hit print. OR do they - you see for the internet you have to link one article or page to the next -to form one huge daisy chain of information which you are invariably led down by the author or creator - where as a guide book you can read in any order - on any subject - you can jump around pages or sections - going back over pages when you spies something new or interesting. These books to me are a gold mine for the simple reason you get out of them what you want to - and not what someone says you should. So for me these guides however dated or limited in their content they may be not only have a place in my collection but have a very important one - and I often go back to them and start again - and I always come away with something new. This book is deceptively informative and great fun to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ettelwen

    Skvěle a poučně popsaná historie fantasy žánru a jeho nejznámějších odvětví. Ale tím to hasne.

  3. 4 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy by David Pringle (2006)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    The Fussy Reader Big thank you to Welbeck Publishing for sending me this beast. It's quite an amazing book to own, packed full of pictures and illustrations printed in colour. Much of the information within is offered in neat bite-sized chunks, making this a perfect read to squeeze in whenever I had a spare moment. The artwork on the front is stunning, depicting the fall of Isengard as the Ents attack. This would actually make a great coffee table book for any fantasy lover except, y'know, one th The Fussy Reader Big thank you to Welbeck Publishing for sending me this beast. It's quite an amazing book to own, packed full of pictures and illustrations printed in colour. Much of the information within is offered in neat bite-sized chunks, making this a perfect read to squeeze in whenever I had a spare moment. The artwork on the front is stunning, depicting the fall of Isengard as the Ents attack. This would actually make a great coffee table book for any fantasy lover except, y'know, one that actually gets read. This encyclopedia begins with detailing the varying flavours of fantasy, what components define the fantasy genres, and how fantasy has influenced storytelling and life as a whole since the beginning of time. I would even recommend this to writers of fantasy as well as readers. This book goes in-depth explaining not just subgenres of fantasy, but fantasy tropes, plot types, character archetypes, and more. It's definitely worth the read for readers and writers alike. I'd also highly recommend this to any beginner fantasy lovers who want to get into book reviewing. The information on various 'terminology' within the fantasy sphere would be invaluable to anyone unfamiliar with it. I like that the authors mention how that this is just a starting point and not a full list of subgenres, as not all are mentioned. A few that are excluded from the list--that I can think of--are Low Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy, Portal Fantasy, and Magical Realism. But I was pleasantly surprised to find a section on Grimdark, one of my favourites in the genre. I also appreciate that it's mentioned that the list of fantasy writers isn't a complete list. But with that in mind, I would have liked to have seen a bit more variety in the list. Of the 242 or so writers mentioned, only 21 were not American or British, and only 5 of these were non-English speaking natives. When I counted all the female authors, I was impressed to find about 85 present...then realised that 85 out of 242 is only just over a third. (Of course, this isn't a full list of authors but I can't help but be a little disappointed more women weren't included, considering they exist. Would've loved to have seen V.E. Schwab, R.F. Kuang, Leigh Bardugo, and Anna Stephens on the list too, but hey.) This list doesn't reflect poorly on the authors or their choices of whom to include but rather perfectly highlights the major flaw of the publishing industry. That unless you're male and/or American or British, breaking into the industry will be a struggle. The list was very 'English native', and there's plenty of translated works that deserve acknowledgement too. I mean, Andrzej Sapkowski wasn't personally listed at all, and if he hasn't been a major influence in the fantasy genre then I don't know who has been. Maybe this is me being subjective, but I just would've enjoyed a tad more variety. Also found it a bit odd that Brando Sando--an absolute pillar in the fantasy genre--got barely half a column of recognition in the entire book, and yet JK Rowling--possibly the most controversial woman of the decade--got almost a whole page to herself, not to mention all the movie and other mentions her works got. I'm not going to uncork THAT bottle, but just pointing that this may be a divisive decision for some readers. Something I really appreciated was the use of 'she' in some of the story-type examples, rather than just assuming all fantasy heroes are men. I'm so used to seeing 'he' be used in fantasy examples that it almost took me by surprised to see the hero of a story being described as 'she'. It's the smallest thing, yet it means so much. However, I do think that some of the film summaries would have benefitted from being a little more objective. Personal biases take over and become outright shade. A few times it felt like I was just reading passages for pieces of fantasy media I enjoy being slagged off simply cause the authors didn't like it. That's not to say they aren't absolutely entitled to their opinions, but just a neat little summary and a fun fact would've sufficed. But in conclusion, this book is a love letter to fantasy written with care by someone who truly appreciates the nuances of the genre. To this day there are still literally snobs who treat fantasy as a lesser form of storytelling, but you only read this book to learn that fantasy is one of the first, oldest, and original forms of storytelling, long before the invention of books or technology. As Terry Pratchett suggests in the foreword, in all likelihood, fantasy stories were the first thing created by proto-humans after the discovery of fire. Of course, this can't be confirmed. It's mere speculation. But who's to say cavemen didn't sit around swapping stories in their primitive way about where they thought lightning came from? The fantasy genre has had such influence on society, religion, and culture, whatever culture that may be. "We are creatures of fantasy. We spend a lot of time in that huge ghost world with the bright colours, and one part of it is now called civilization." Fantasy is not only a cornerstone of storytelling but also of life as we know it today. Sounds dramatic? It's true. You only need to read this book to see that. "By the standards of our ancestors, we are sorcerers, able to conjure up knowledge or transport or food with just a few gestures, or some careful phrases." Instagram Twitter

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*

    Although it is dated now by almost 20 years, this "encyclopedia" provides an extensive catalog of fantasy literature, authors, film, television, famous locales and creatures and more, up to the year 2000. It has a definite Western slant, and is a British publication, but there is no lack of American content. The influences of other cultures and common Eastern fantasy elements are recognized, but unless an Eastern film or show had notable penetration or a clear influence in the West, it will not Although it is dated now by almost 20 years, this "encyclopedia" provides an extensive catalog of fantasy literature, authors, film, television, famous locales and creatures and more, up to the year 2000. It has a definite Western slant, and is a British publication, but there is no lack of American content. The influences of other cultures and common Eastern fantasy elements are recognized, but unless an Eastern film or show had notable penetration or a clear influence in the West, it will not appear here. The delineation between 'fantasy' and 'science fiction' is powerful, and you will not find the latter here, as it is reserved for a separate publication by the same editor. Flipping through this oversized book will bring back memories of shows and movies that you have not given thought to in many years. Or, if you are a younger reader, it may guide you to explore older media titles to enhance your fantasy cultural immersion. In fact, this is where the book really shines; it provides a well-rounded education about the fantasy genre through history. The introduction provides a perfect summary of fantasy literature through history, dating back many centuries, and highlights all of the significant influences that led to the current state of the genre. It is scholarly and accessible. It has certainly prompted me to build up my 'to-read' list with some foundational works. Going further than the editor, the introduction by Sir Terry Pratchett examines the development of fantasy in PRE-history, no easy task. In my opinion, there was perhaps an effort to be too inclusive in the catalogs. For example, the fantasy authors section includes many names that have no real impact or recognition; some of them had simply had a couple of fantasy books out in the 1-2 years prior to this book's publication. If anything, this serves to highlight the relative dearth of fantasy then, compared to the explosion of current publishing, if it was worth listing even very minor authors. The listings of TV and film in particular provide mini-reviews, which were often amusing. The authors were not afraid to be critical and personal where appropriate.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cass Kay

    The collection and organization is well done but the focus was on what titles were released on what platform and that wasn't quite the information I was looking for. As a fantasy writers, I was looking for break downs done by tropes or lore. It would be a great book to study if you wanted to know trivia information on the fantasy genre. The collection and organization is well done but the focus was on what titles were released on what platform and that wasn't quite the information I was looking for. As a fantasy writers, I was looking for break downs done by tropes or lore. It would be a great book to study if you wanted to know trivia information on the fantasy genre.

  7. 4 out of 5

    BookLever

    Not really a reading book but a wonderful reference book of all things fantasy - movie, tv, books, authors and worlds. Probably getting a bit dated now (2018) but I think a must have for fantasy bookaholics. And of course any book that adds more words to any library by the brilliant and missed Sir Terry Pratchett is a must.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matti Tornio

    I bought this book hoping to find some new fantasy material to read/watch. Unfortunately I came away quite disappointed. The editor's taste in fantasy is very different from mine and as a result the guide includes tons of works that I'd consider complete trash. Even more annoyingly, many of my favorite authors/books/movies are completely missing or only appear as short side notes. Furthermore, the book more or less completely ignores the wide body of non-English fantasy with just a few exception I bought this book hoping to find some new fantasy material to read/watch. Unfortunately I came away quite disappointed. The editor's taste in fantasy is very different from mine and as a result the guide includes tons of works that I'd consider complete trash. Even more annoyingly, many of my favorite authors/books/movies are completely missing or only appear as short side notes. Furthermore, the book more or less completely ignores the wide body of non-English fantasy with just a few exceptions. I didn't find the guide very useful as a reference guide either. Many of the entries are extremely shallow and even more worryingly contain a large amount of factual errors. The final section on games is particularly dreadful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sylwia

    Too many of the texts have been written in a rather condescending tone for me to like this book. The copy I had was also full of factual errors, typos and grammar mistakes that made sentences sound plain strange. A lot of it read like a wikipedia list instead of something that would actually be pleasant to go through and honestly, it's pretty much another jerk-off session to same old titles as any other "fantasy guide" that overpraises Tolkien and late XX century authors. TLDR: pretentious and bo Too many of the texts have been written in a rather condescending tone for me to like this book. The copy I had was also full of factual errors, typos and grammar mistakes that made sentences sound plain strange. A lot of it read like a wikipedia list instead of something that would actually be pleasant to go through and honestly, it's pretty much another jerk-off session to same old titles as any other "fantasy guide" that overpraises Tolkien and late XX century authors. TLDR: pretentious and boring, would not recommend.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This is a comprehensive guide that covers every aspect of the fantasy genre in books, film and gaming. Each section deals with a different aspect of the genre from its early beginnings to its modern connotations complete with numerous illustrations to support the text. A great reference guide and one that fantasy fans everywhere would enjoy although only hard core fans would want to sit and read every word given the level of detail each section provides (I admit I struggled at times).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Of necessity list-based, this was still a fascinating look at the world of Fantasy. The authors looked at all types of fantasy, including novels, magazines, TV, films and games. They also covered the fantasy authors, the worlds they created, and the characters. A wonderful introduction for anyone interested in the subject, or for ideas for where to start if you are new to it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Astrid Terese

    Kanskje den beste bruken for The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy har en som en introduksjon til sjangeren. Jeg har skumlest den ett par ganger og stoppet opp når jeg kommer over navn eller titler jeg er interessert i.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  14. 5 out of 5

    Galina Met

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Thomas Charles Rees

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aoife Lennon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Memorin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Miggy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mirella Ducasteele

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sylwia

  21. 5 out of 5

    tirretiipero

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lenka

  23. 4 out of 5

    PJ

  24. 4 out of 5

    Conor Cullen

  25. 5 out of 5

    ~Kate~

  26. 4 out of 5

    Svatka

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nele

  29. 4 out of 5

    Radomír D. Kokeš

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue Bridgwater

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