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Edward Frederick James (born 14 May 1947) is a British scholar of medieval history and science fiction.[1] He is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at University College, Dublin. James received the Hugo Award for his non-fiction book The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (co-edited with Farah Mendlesohn), and the Pilgrim Award for lifetime contribution to SF and fantasy scholarship.


James was born in Solihull, Warwickshire.[1] He attended the Solihull School and read Modern History at St John's College, Oxford (1965-1968). He completed postgraduate work at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, 1968-1970, supervised by Professor Christopher Hawkes. James was awarded D.Phil in 1975, for a thesis entitled ‘South-West Gaul from the fifth to the eighth century: the contribution of archaeology’. [2]He began teaching in 1970 at University College, Dublin.[1]

He was a lecturer at the Department of Medieval History in University College Dublin from 1970 to 1978. He was a lecturer in early medieval history at the Department of History, University of York, 1978 to 1995, as well as Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York from 1990 to 1995.

He was Professor of Medieval History at the University of Reading from 1995 to 2004 and was a Director of the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, 1999–2001. He retired in 2012.


James is the recipient of the 2004 Pilgrim Award for lifetime contribution to science fiction and fantasy scholarship. He has also won the Hugo Award and BSFA Award in the non-fiction category, in addition to multiple nominations for individual works, as detailed in the following table.

Year[a] Work Award[b] Result[3]
1994 Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century Eaton Award Won
Locus Award Nominated
2000 Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature Hugo Award Nominated
2003 The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction Hugo Award Won
2009 A Short History of Fantasy BSFA Award Nominated
2012 The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature British Fantasy Award Nominated
BSFA Award Nominated
Hugo Award Nominated
Locus Award Nominated
2014 "Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War" BSFA Award Won
2015 Lois McMaster Bujold BSFA Award Nominated

Personal life

James married his fellow academic, Farah Mendlesohn in 2001.[1]

Selected works


  1. ^ Year of publication.
  2. ^ All awards and nominations are in their respective non-fiction categories: the Hugo Award for Best Related Work, the British Fantasy Award for Best Non-fiction, the BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction and the Locus Award for Best Non-fiction.
  3. ^ ISFDB catalogues a series, The Profession of Science Fiction, comprising 65 articles published from 1972 to 2007 in Foundation, the review James edited 1986 to 2001. Numbers 1 to 42 were published by 1990, number 43 in 1992. The articles are classified as essays (58, perhaps all by different writers), short fiction (one dated 1987), and interviews (six, all after 1992).[5] ISFDB does not catalogue the contents of the 1992 book.


  1. ^ a b c d Clute, John; Langford, David (26 October 2021). "James, Edward". In Clute, John; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd ed.). Gollancz. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Edward James Chronology". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Bibliography: The Profession of Science Fiction" (1992 book). ISFDB. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  5. ^ "The Profession of Science Fiction – Series Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved 2015-03-26.