Open main menu

Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers

Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers is a book by Curtis C. Smith published in October 1981 on science fiction authors in the 20th century. It is the third in the St. Martin's Press's Twentieth-Century Writers of the English Language series with the others being Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers and Twentieth-Century Children's Writers.[1]

Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers
Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers (1981) book cover.png
Hardcover edition
AuthorCurtis C. Smith
CountryUnited States
SeriesTwentieth-Century Writers of the English Language
SubjectScience fiction authors
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
Publication date
October 1981
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages642 pp. (1981 edition)
ISBN0-312-82420-3 (1981 edition)



Curtis C. Smith (Associate Professor of Humanities at University of Houston–Clear Lake in Clear Lake City[2]) worked on the book for more than three years assisted by 20 advisers and 146 contributors. All living authors were sent a questionnaire for biographical information and that information was cross-checked.[1]


In the first edition, there are 540 entries for Anglo-American writers, 35 additional foreign language writers, and five "major fantasy writers." Anglo-American writer entries contain a biographical sketch besides including the address of the author or sometimes their literary agent. The bibliographies lists SF books, other publications, and published bibliographies of the author.[1]


Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers was mainly received positively by critics but was critiqued for its bibliographical errors. Likewise, many gawked at its original $65 price. Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review's Neil Barron reviewed Twentieth-Century Science-Fiction Writers with "the bibliography which follows is relatively thorough."[1] Foundation's John Clute critiqued it with "I for one feel a sense of complex emotional and intellectual betrayal on contemplating the book."[2] Locus's Jeff Frane critiqued the errors as missing, miscategorized, or mistitled entries but reviewed it favorably with "In spite of its flaws, it's a useful volume, one worth gaining access to somehow."[3] Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine's Baird Searles commented "In all, I judge it to be a source of much information even for the non-academic general reader" but disclaimed that he contributed three articles and was listed as an adviser.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Barron, Neil (January–February 1982). "Review: Twentieth Century Science-Fiction Writers". Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review. Vista, California: Science Fiction Research Association.
  2. ^ a b Clute, John (June 1982). "Review: Twentieth Century Science-Fiction Writers". Foundation. University of East London: Science Fiction Foundation.
  3. ^ Frane, Jeff (January 1982). "Locus Looks at Books By Another Hand ...". Locus. Oakland, California: Locus Publications.
  4. ^ Searles, Baird (May 1982). "On Books". Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Norwalk, Connecticut: Penny Publications.

External linksEdit