Farah Mendlesohn

Farah Jane Mendlesohn (born 27 July 1968)[1] is a British academic historian and writer on science fiction and fantasy literature, and an active science fiction fan.

Farah Mendlesohn
Mendlesohn at Archipelacon in Mariehamn, 2015
Mendlesohn at Archipelacon in Mariehamn, 2015
Born27 July 1968 (age 50)
Manchester, England
OccupationAcademic, writer
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
SubjectCultural history, science fiction

Scholarly career

Mendlesohn was born in Manchester. She joined Staffordshire University in November 2016 as Prof & Assistant Dean, Law, Policing, Forensics & Sociology.[2] She was previously employed as Professor and Head of Department in the Department of English, Communication, Film and Media at Anglia Ruskin University.[3] Prior to that she was Reader in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature in the Media Department at Middlesex University. She writes on the history of American religions and British and American science fiction and fantasy. She received her D. Phil. in History from the University of York in 1997. She was the editor of Foundation - The International Review of Science Fiction from 2002 to 2007. She used to be reviews editor of Quaker Studies.

Awards and nominations

In 2005 she won the Hugo Award for Best Related Work for The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, which she edited with historian Edward James. James and Mendlesohn also edited The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, released in 2012, and wrote A Short History of Fantasy in 2009.

Her book Rhetorics of Fantasy won the BSFA award for best non-fiction book in 2009; the book was also nominated for Hugo and World Fantasy Awards.

In 2010 she was nominated twice for the Best Related Book Hugo, for The Inter-Galactic Playground: A Critical Study of Children's and Teens' Science Fiction, and for On Joanna Russ.

In 2017, she was nominated for a World Fantasy Special Award—Professional for Children's Fantasy Literature: An Introduction.

Science fiction conventions

She is an active volunteer member of the administration for science fiction conventions. Among other events, she co-chaired ConCussion, the 2006 Eastercon, with Simon Bradshaw;[4] and was director of program for Anticipation and the Montreal World Science Fiction Convention in 2009;[5] She was on the convention committee of Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, until she resigned over the declaration that Jonathan Ross would be master of ceremonies for the presentation of the Hugo Awards; she remained division head for the convention's exhibits hall.[6]

Heinlein study

In 2017, Mendlesohn announced that her forthcoming critical study of Robert Heinlein would be published by the crowdfunding publisher Unbound,[7] and that if the funding exceeded the target any surplus would be divided between America's Blood Centers and Con or Bust (a non-profit corporation which helps people of color to attend Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions).[8] As of October 2017 the pledges had exceeded the target by 18%, publication date March 7th 2019.

Selected works

As author
  • Children's Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (London: Cambridge University Press, 2016) with Michael Levy
  • A Short History of Fantasy (London: Middlesex University Press, 2009) with Edward James
  • The Inter-galactic Playground: A Critical Study of Children's and Teens' Science Fiction (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy 14) (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009). ISBN 9780786435036.
  • Rhetorics of Fantasy (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008)
  • Diana Wynne Jones: Children's Literature and the Fantastic Tradition (Oxford: Routledge, 2005)
  • Quaker Relief Work in the Spanish Civil War (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002)
As editor
  • The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) with Edward James
  • On Joanna Russ (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2009)
  • Glorifying Terrorism, Manufacturing Contempt: An Anthology of Original Science Fiction (London: Rackstraw Press, 2006)
  • Polder: A Festschrift For John Clute and Judith Clute (Baltimore: Old Earth Books, 2006)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) with Edward James
  • The True Knowledge of Ken MacLeod (Reading: Science Fiction Foundation, 2003) with Andrew Butler
  • The Parliament of Dreams: Conferring on Babylon 5 (Reading: Science Fiction Foundation, 1998) with Edward James


  1. ^ "Mendlesohn, Farah". Revised 13 November 2014. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (sf-encyclopedia.com). Retrieved 26 March 2015. Entry by 'PKi', Paul Kincaid.
  2. ^ "Staff Directory". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016.
  3. ^ Professor Farah Mendlesohn – Department of English, Communication, Film and Media – Anglia Ruskin University Archived 28 July 2012 at Archive.today
  4. ^ History – Eastercon
  5. ^ AnticipationSF: English – Committee
  6. ^ "Hugo MC Withdraws" Locus Online 3 March 2014
  7. ^ Reisz, Matthew (25 October 2017). "Crowdfunding offers new opportunities to academic authors". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Robert Heinlein". Unbound. Retrieved 30 October 2017.

External links

Andrew M. Butler

Andrew M. Butler is a British academic who teaches film, media and cultural studies at Canterbury Christ Church University. He is a former editor of Vector, the Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association and was membership secretary of the Science Fiction Foundation. He is a former Arthur C. Clarke Award judge and is now a member of the Serendip Foundation which administers the award.

He has published widely on science fiction and, less often, fantasy, in journals such as Foundation, Science Fiction Studies, Vector and The Lion and the Unicorn. His interests include Philip K. Dick, Terry Pratchett (Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, co-edited with Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn was nominated for a Hugo Award), Jeff Noon, Iain M. Banks, Ken MacLeod, Christopher Priest and Philip Pullman. An article for Science Fiction Studies, "Thirteen ways of looking at the British Boom", on the British science fiction boom won the Science Fiction Research Association Pioneer Award in 2004.

BSFA Award

The BSFA Awards are literary awards presented annually since 1970 by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) to honour works in the genre of science fiction. Nominees and winners are chosen based on a vote of BSFA members. More recently, members of the Eastercon convention have also been eligible to vote.

BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction

The BSFA Awards are given every year by the British Science Fiction Association. The Best Non-Fiction award is open to any written work about science fiction or fantasy which appeared in its current form in the previous year. Whole collections of work that has been published elsewhere previously are ineligible as is work published by the BSFA.


BeABohema was a science fiction fanzine edited by Frank Lunney of Quakertown, Pennsylvania . It lasted for twenty issues from 1968 to December 1971, and was nominated for the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, losing to Richard E. Geis' Science Fiction Review.

It was known for controversies over such topics as the relationship between the Science Fiction Writers of America and Amazing Stories publisher Ultimate Publishing; and New Wave science fiction.Among the better-known contributors were Dean Koontz, Piers Anthony (who did a column titled "Babble" for a while), Bill Rotsler, Ted White, Philip José Farmer, James Blish, David Gerrold, Sam Moskowitz, Jay Kinney, Terry Carr, David R. Bunch, and a then-obscure fan named "Gene Klein" who would later become famous as Gene Simmons of KISS.

Edward James (historian)

Edward Frederick James (born 14 May 1947) is a British scholar of medieval history and science fiction. He is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at University College, Dublin.

Fighting the Forces

Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an academic publication relating to the fictional Buffyverse established by TV series, Buffy and Angel.

Findo Gask

Findo Gask is a small village in Perth and Kinross in Scotland, just off the main A9 road. It is in Strathearn.

There are nearby remains associated with the Roman Road to the south and the Roman Frontier on the Gask Ridge.

The area was associated with the family of Laurence Oliphant and his daughter, the songwriter Lady Nairne, was born there.During the Second World War, units of the Polish Army were stationed at Findo Gask Airfield (now disused).The woodlands around Findo Gask are known to be excellent sites for the collection of truffles, particularly black truffles, and truffle hunters can often be observed there during certain seasons.

Gask House was built here in 1801 designed by Richard Crichton a pupil of Robert Adam.


Finncon is the largest science fiction convention in Finland and, with up to 15,000 participants, one of the largest SF conventions in Europe. Finncon is unique among SF conventions because it has no participation/membership fee, and is funded primarily on various cultural grants as well as income from traders. The event is organised annually in different cities in Finland.

From 2003 to 2009 and in 2011 the convention included the anime convention Animecon, which boosted the convention's attendance and public visibility significantly. Since then the conventions have separated, and the future of the Finnish Animecon is currently uncertain beyond the 2011 combined Finncon-Animecon.

Finncon alternates between different cities in Finland without a formal rota. Recently the event has been held almost every year, but occasionally a year is skipped if no city is found to host the event that year.

Glorifying Terrorism

Glorifying Terrorism is a 2007 science fiction anthology edited by Farah Mendlesohn, which was compiled in direct response to the Terrorism Act 2006. Every story in the anthology has been specifically designed to be illegal under the Act's prohibition on any publication "indirectly encouraging the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism," including "every statement which glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts," and the anthology's introduction begins with the explicit statement that "(t)he purpose of the stories and poems in this book is to glorify terrorism."

Greer Gilman

Greer Ilene Gilman is an American author of fantasy stories.

Hugo Award for Best Related Work

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Related Work is given each year for primarily non-fiction works related to science fiction or fantasy, published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. Awards are also given out for works of fiction in the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories.

The award was originally titled the Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book and was first awarded in 1980. In 1999 the Award was retitled to the Hugo Award for Best Related Book, and eligibility was officially expanded to fiction works that were primarily noteworthy for reasons besides their fictional aspects. In 2010, the title of the award was again changed, to the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. The Retro Best Related Work Hugo was awarded for 1954, 50 years later, but has not been awarded for any other year due to insufficient nominations.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in the Best Related Work category in 2015 and 2016.During the 40 nomination years, 197 authors have had works nominated; 52 of these have won, including co-authors and Retro Hugos. John Clute has won four times; once by himself, once with John Grant as a co-author, once with Peter Nicholls, and once with Nicholls, David Langford, and Graham Sleight. Nicholls has won a third time, and Grant has won a second time, sharing the award with his co-authors Elizabeth L. Humphrey and Pamela D. Scoville. Thomas Disch and Ursula K. Le Guin have also won twice, both without co-authors; no other author has won more than once. Cathy and Arnie Fenner have been nominated eight times for their work on the Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art series, both the most number of nominations received by any author and the most number of nominations without winning. Clute has been nominated seven times, Farah Mendlesohn six times with one win; Le Guin four times with two wins; Isaac Asimov and Langford four times with one win; and Mike Resnick four times with no wins. The Writing Excuses team, consisting of Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson, have been nominated four times and won once. Seven other authors have been nominated three times. Many of these writers, editors and artists have won Hugos in other categories, from Fan Writer to Best Novel.

John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, or Campbell Memorial Award, is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best science fiction novel published in English in the preceding calendar year. It is the novel counterpart of the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short story, awarded by the same organization. The award is named in honor of John W. Campbell (1910–71), whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award was established in 1973 by writers and critics Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss "as a way of continuing his efforts to encourage writers to produce their best possible work." Locus magazine has listed it as one of the "major awards" of written science fiction.The winning novel is selected by a panel of science fiction experts, intended to be "small enough to discuss among its members all of the nominated novels". Among members of the panel have been Gregory Benford, Paul A. Carter, James Gunn, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Christopher McKitterick, Farah Mendlesohn, Pamela Sargent, and Tom Shippey. In 2008 Mendlesohn was replaced with Paul Kincaid, in 2009 Carter left the panel while Paul Di Filippo and Sheila Finch joined, and Lisa Yaszek replaced Di Filippo in 2016. Nominations are submitted by publishers and jurors, and are collated by the panel into a list of finalists to be voted on. The minimum eligible length that a work may be is not formally defined by the center. The winner is selected by May of each year, and is presented at the Campbell Conference awards banquet in June at the University of Kansas in Lawrence as part of the centerpiece of the conference along with the Sturgeon Award. The award has been given at the conference since 1979; prior to then it was awarded at various locations around the world, starting at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. Winners are always invited to attend the ceremony. The Center for the Study of Science Fiction maintains a trophy which records all of the winners on engraved plaques affixed to the sides, and since 2004 winners have received a smaller personalized trophy as well.During the 46 years the award has been active, 176 authors have had works nominated; 46 of these authors have won. In two years, 1976 and 1994, the panel selected none of the nominees as a winner, while in 1974, 2002, 2009, and 2012 the panel selected two winners rather than one. Frederik Pohl and Joan Slonczewski have each won twice, the only authors to do so, out of four and two nominations, respectively. Kim Stanley Robinson and Paul J. McAuley have won once out of seven nominations, and Jack McDevitt, Adam Roberts, and Robert J. Sawyer have won once out of five nominations, while Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, and Robert Charles Wilson have won once out of four nominations. Greg Bear has the most nominations without winning at nine, followed by Sheri S. Tepper at six, James K. Morrow at five, and William Gibson, Ken MacLeod, and Charles Stross at four.

Kathryn Cramer

Kathryn Elizabeth Cramer (born April 16, 1962) is an American science fiction writer, editor, and literary critic.

Mary Kay Bray Award

The Mary Kay Bray Award is given by the Science Fiction Research Association for the best essay, interview, or extended review to appear in the SFRA Review in a given year.

Previous winners include:

2002 - Karen Hellekson, "Transforming the Subject: Humanity, the Body, and Posthumanism" (Mar/Apr 2003)

2003 - Farah Mendlesohn, Review of The Years of Rice and Salt (ISBN 0-553-58007-8) by Kim Stanley Robinson

2004 - Bruce A. Beatie, Review of L. Frank Baum, Creator of Oz (ISBN 0-312-30174-X) by Katharine M. Rogers (Apr/May/Jun 2004)

2005 - Thomas J. Morrissey, Review of The Shore of Women (ISBN 978-1932100365) by Pamela Sargent (Jan/Feb/Mar 2005)

2006 - Ed Carmien, Review of The Space Opera Renaissance (ISBN 978-0765306180) edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (Jul/Aug/Sep 2006)

2007 - Jason W. Ellis, Reviews of "Starship Troopers" (ISBN 978-0441014101) by Robert Heinlein (April/May/June 2007) and "Brasyl" (ISBN 978-1591025436) by Ian McDonald (July/Aug/Sept 2007)

2008 - Sandor Klapcsik, Rewired (Spring 2008)

2009 - Ritch Calvin, “Mundane SF 101″ (Summer 2009).

2010 - Alfredo Suppia, "Southern Portable Panic: Federico Álvarez’s Ataque de Pánico!" (Spring 2010)

Science fiction studies

Science fiction studies is the common name for the academic discipline that studies and researches the history, culture, and works of science fiction and, more broadly, speculative fiction.

Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service

The Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service is presented by the Science Fiction Research Association for outstanding service activities. Particularly recognized are: promotion of SF teaching and study, editing, reviewing, editorial writing, publishing, organizing meetings, mentoring, and leadership in SF/fantasy organizations.

Previous winners include:

1996 - Frederik Pohl

1997 - James Gunn

1998 - Elizabeth Anne Hull

1999 - David G. Hartwell

2000 - Arthur O. Lewis

2001 - Donald "Mack" Hassler

2002 - Joan Gordon

2003 - Joe Sanders

2004 - Patricia S. Warrick

2005 - Muriel Becker

2006 - Paul Kincaid

2007 - Michael Levy

2008 - Andrew Sawyer

2009 - Hal Hall

2010 - David Mead

2011 - The Tiptree Motherboard (Karen Joy Fowler, Debbie Notkin, Ellen Klages, Jeanne Gomoll, Jeff Smith, and Pat Murphy)

2012 Arthur B. Evans

2013 Rob Latham

2014 Lisa Yaszek

2015 Farah Mendlesohn

Timeline of science fiction

This is a timeline of science fiction as a literary tradition.

Timescape Books

Timescape Books was a science fiction line from Pocket Books operating from 1981 to 1985. Pocket Books is an imprint of Simon & Schuster

It was named after the Gregory Benford novel Timescape, which was not published by the Timescape imprint. The imprint was founded by David G. Hartwell. It published both original hardcover and reprinted mass market paperback novels. Many of the imprint's titles were nominees or winners of Hugo and Nebula awards, along with other major SF awards. It published more than 30 original hardcover works and over 100 paperback titles, but the imprint was not financially successful enough for the parent company at the time, as it was not producing major bestsellers.

Wesleyan University Press

Wesleyan University Press is a university press that is part of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. The Press is currently directed by Suzanna Tamminen, a published poet and essayist.

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