Farah Mendlesohn is the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, and the Cambridge Companion to Fantasy and co-wrote A Short History of Fantasy, all with Edward James. Her other work includes Rhetorics of Fantasy and Diana Wynne Jones and the Children's Fantastical Tradition. She is currently working on a book about fiction about the English Civil War.
She won the Hugo Award with Edward James in 2005, and is the only person to win the British Science Fiction Award for non fiction twice.
on Feb. 18, 2017 :
Mendlesohn's collection brings together a series of misfit essays, either rejected or that didn't fit into collections they were originally intended for--and boy am I glad that we get to see them!
For my own work, Mendlesohn's typological study of the science fiction short story (conveniently titled "The Science Fiction Short Story") has been immeasurably helpful in thinking through a narrative form that I typically overlook in my work, but find myself increasingly drawn to. Other highlights include "What is this 'child' you speak of?" on the conceptualization of child vs. adult readers in the study of children's/YA literature; Mendlesohn's lengthy and engaged review of Csicsery-Ronay's book Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, which is helpful to anyone trying to make their way through that book, with some needed criticism; the rather classic (to me, at least) essay on Buffy and the denial of queer readings in the Willow/Buffy relationship; and the (co-written) essay on the "Cartesian novum" and identity performance in the television series Third Rock from the Sun.
I'm very glad that we have this collection of essays and reviews, and highly recommend it to SF scholars, children's lit scholars, and anyone interested in sharp thinking about the texts discussed herein.
(review of free book)