Ash, Brian

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1936-2010) UK author, scientific journalist and editor. His Faces of the Future: The Lessons of Science Fiction (1975) assumes that its readers might be ignorant of sf, which leads to more plot summarizing than some sf readers found useful. His Who's Who in Science Fiction (1976; rev 1977) was well received by the general press, but heavily attacked in the sf specialist press for omissions and errors; the revised edition corrected many of the inaccuracies. Ash then edited the thematically arranged The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1977), consisting for the most part of largely unsigned essays and compilations, by various contributors (listed in the prelims), arranged in chapters which trace the development of the major sf themes. A handsome volume, illustrated in colour, it was not well-designed for reference purposes as an encyclopedia, but served as a model for later companions to sf, like John Clute's similarly mistitled Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (1995) or David Pringle's The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: The Definitive Illustrated Guide (1996), whose title was also risible. Who's Who in H.G. Wells (1979) is a useful guide which encompasses the entire vast corpus of H G Wells's fiction, not only the well-known early works. [PN/JC]

Brian ?James Ash

born 1936

died Worcester, Worcestershire: 30 June 2010



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