MIKE RESNICK: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND GUIDE TO HIS WORK
by Fiona Kelleghan
Reviewed by Steven H Silver
Nobody can deny that author Mike Resnick is extremely prolific, and Fiona Kelleghan has demonstrated the extent of his prolificacy in her cramped, Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work, which takes nearly five hundred pages to document Resnick’s literary output from his first publication in 1965 through the middle of 2000.
Kelleghan’s study begins with a short examination of Resnick’s career and the genres and subgenres in which he has published. Kelleghan uses this section of the book to provide definitions for the genres and tropes Resnick uses throughout his work. This information is provided in a matter-of-fact manner without much critical assessment of Resnick’s work.
While Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work is clearly not a critical examination of the writer or his work, this section could have been more useful, and helped explain the purpose of the book as a whole, if Kelleghan had taken some time to explore Resnick’s influence on the field, his nurturing of new authors and the way in which he has guided the discussion of science fiction. While Kelleghan notes his various awards and honors in section L of the book, she doesn’t really examine why these stories have been earmarked for such honors, nor what the influence of their having won awards is. If the book passed itself off as merely a bibliography, this might be acceptable, however by declaring itself annotated and a guide to the author’s work, more analysis is expected.
In her listings of Resnick’s copious output of novels and stories, Kelleghan includes notes about the works based on her exchanges with Resnick as well as a brief synopsis of the work in question. For a, perhaps, more balanced view, she also includes information about the locations of reviews of Resnick’s works wherever she was able to find it.
Despite the sheer quantity of titles Kelleghan includes, which would lead any reader to believe the book was a complete bibliography of Resnick’s works, Kelleghan fails to include “more than 200 novels, 300 short stories, and 3,000 articles, almost all under pseudonyms, most of them in the ‘adult’ field” which Resnick produced between 1964 and 1975. Although Resnick is best known as a science fiction author, Kelleghan does include his horse-racing and other sports writing in the bibliography, as well as his non-fiction, making the decision to ignore this tremendous repository of Resnick’s early work troublesome. A scholar using Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work as a basis for Resnick’s writings cannot be assured of tracing his entire career without access to these early works, however much Resnick may feel embarrassed by them at this time.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of the bibliography is the typesetting. The entries all abut each other without spaces between individual entries or indentation for sub-entries. While this may have been down to maintain a reasonably price for the volume, it makes it more difficult to use since the reader must take extra time to determine which entry is being read, particularly when an entry runs to several pages. The lack of any form of indexing headers further exacerbates the usability difficulty.
Kelleghan has provided a complete (at the time) map of Resnick’s output, however she does not explain why Resnick’s work is deserving of such a study rather than the work of any other authors who have either written more, or, perhaps, more influentially.
Purchase this book from