Nina Heinlein Bibliography

Summary Bibliography: Robert Bloch

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  • Author: Robert Bloch Author Record # 152
  • Legal Name: Bloch, Robert Albert
  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Birthdate: 5 April 1917
  • Deathdate: 23 September 1994
  • Language: English
  • Webpages:Books and Writers, Gutenberg, IMDB, scifi.com, SFE3, Wikipedia-EN
  • Used These Alternate Names:Robert A. Bloch, Bob Bloch, Robert Bloh, R.ブロック?, Tarleton Fiske, Will Folke, Keith Hammond, Nathan Hindin, E. K. Jarvis, Wilson Kane, Herbert Scanlon, Lan Stewart, Collier Young
  • Author Tags:horror (44), fantasy (28), Cthulhu Mythos (17), recursive sf (NESFA index) (7), vampires (6), insanity (4), murder (4), slasher (3), devil (3), Librivox (2), fandom (2), zombies (2), science fiction (2), mummies (2), Merril07 (2), X Minus 1 (2), contemporary (2), Merril03 (2), overpopulation (1), into-movie (1) and 24 additional tags. View all tags for Robert Bloch
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Defining science fiction and speculative fiction has been an ongoing project. Coined in Heinlein 1964 (originally published in 1947), the term speculative fiction became popular in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s as an alternative to science fiction among writers who sought to articulate the kind of work they thought they were doing. It has reemerged in contemporary critical discourse as a means of capturing in a single term the range of genres that Kincaid 2005 argues share certain “family resemblances” in what Rabkin 1976 calls a “super genre.” Such subgenres constituting this “family” of genres include science fiction, fantasy, horror, utopian fiction, futuristic fiction, alternate histories, and other forms of non-mimetic fiction. Distinguishing speculative fiction from naturalistic or mimetic fiction has been a key element of criticism since the 1940s. Eshbach 1947, an edited collection generated from a symposium of the top writers in the field at the time, was published as a handbook for the then-burgeoning field that offers advice from the most successful writers on how to write good science fiction. Delany 2009 (originally published in 1977) is a groundbreaking collection of essays and lectures, illuminating the distinctive language of science fiction that requires different reading and analytical strategies, thereby fundamentally distinguishing it from mundane, or mimetic, fiction. Suvin 1979 provides an incisive study of the genre whose theories and terms remain a mainstay for those attempting to define the genre today. Dery 1994 names and defines the specifically black iterations of science fiction and technoculture with the concept of Afrofuturism, which engendered a rapidly growing field of study in subsequent years. Notably, attempts to define the genre are often linked to efforts to historicize the genre. Identifying originary texts to establish a coherent tradition contributes to the efforts to define what constitutes speculative fiction. Gunn and Candelaria 2005 historicizes science fiction criticism and compiles a core of influential essays that have shaped debates on the origins of the genre as well as have attempted to define the form as an object of inquiry. Unsurprisingly, these attempts at definition and historicization continue to be debated.

  • Delany, Samuel R. The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction. Rev ed. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2009.

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    Originally Published in 1977. A groundbreaking collection of essays that brings literary theory to bear on the study of science fiction. It argues that science fiction is fundamentally different from mundane fiction because of its approach to language. The volume dramatically shifted thinking in science fiction criticism away from delineating content and themes.

  • Dery, Mark. “Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose.” In Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. Edited by Mark Dery, 179–222. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994.

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    The groundbreaking essay that coined the term Afrofuturism and initiated the ongoing critical intervention that recognizes black speculation as a cultural phenomenon. This work inspired much of the critical growth that examines specifically black contributions to the speculative tradition.

  • Eshbach, Lloyd Arthur. Of Worlds Beyond: The Science of Science Fiction Writing. Reading, PA: Fantasy Press, 1947.

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    Positioning itself as the authoritative work on speculative fiction of its time, the book includes essays by the leading writers and thinkers in the field, most notably Robert Heinlein’s much-referenced essay “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” Also recognized as the first practical guide or handbook for writing the genre.

  • Gunn, James, and Matthew Candelaria. Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2005.

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    An anthology of essays that chronicle the myriad attempts at defining and historicizing science fiction by some of the genre’s most reputable critics. The text includes foundational essays reprinted from earlier works of critics, providing snapshot perspectives of the changing perspectives on science fiction’s definitions and theories. An excellent introductory text.

  • Heinlein, Robert. “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” In Of Worlds Beyond: The Science of Science Fiction Writing. Edited by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, 13–19. Chicago: Advent, 1964.

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    Originally published in 1947. A frequently referenced essay in which one of the field’s most renowned writers and scholars coins and defines the term speculative fiction and offers suggestions on how to write good speculative fiction from a “human interest” perspective.

  • Kincaid, Paul. “On the Origins of Genre.” In Speculations on Speculation: Theories of Science Fiction. Edited by James Gunn and Matthew Candelaria, 41–53. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2005.

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    An important essay that challenges the notions of an originary text that could contain all the elements that have come to constitute the field of science fiction. Kincaid appropriates philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s notion of “family resemblances” to capture the constant state of flux and impermanence of patterns in the genre.

  • Rabkin, Eric S. The Fantastic in Literature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.

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    An examination of the mechanisms that differentiate fantasy from realist literature. Rabkin’s chapter on “The Fantastic and Genre Criticism” develops the concept of the super genre (overlapping genres, distinct in some ways, but possessing shared characteristics in others) referenced by many critics.

  • Suvin, Darko. Metamorphoses of Science Fiction. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979.

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    An important critical and philosophical study of the science fiction tradition that advances the key concept of cognitive estrangement and other definitions relied upon today to articulate the distinguishing characteristics of the genre. The text produces an in-depth history that bolsters the author’s efforts at definition and evaluation of the field.

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