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Somebody cry, "why, why, why"

It’s been a challenge the past ten days to wade through the dead celeb media deluge, but we’re always up to a challenge. Today we’re dealing with our Jacko fatigue by contemplating the change of the Sci Fi Channel‘s name to Syfy. There are a number of questions raised by this change, chief among them, “Why a little ‘f’ and not a big ‘F’?” (Others include “How is it pronounced?” and “Who came up with that crumbum logo?”) We haven’t yet found an answer to that first one, so feel free to enlighten us.

We have many science fiction writers in Biography Resource Center — too many to list, really, given the breadth of Contemporary Authors content — but we’ll highlight one: William Guy Contento. Contento is the first result when doing an Advanced keyword search for “science fiction.” The phrase appears 44 times in his biography, pushing him to the top of a pile that includes such luminaries as Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Oddly enough, Contento is actually a sci-fi bibliographer, and a highly respected one at that.

The Supernatural Index: A Listing of Fantasy, Supernatural, Occult, Weird, and Horror Anthologies was compiled with scholar Michael Ashley, and indexes more than 21,000 stories by some 7,700 authors, covering works published since 1813. The work was described by M. R. Pukkila in Choice as an immense undertaking “elegantly achieved,” and one that “supersedes the standard indexes.” Richard Bleiler in Booklist found the entries in The Supernatural Index to be “gratifyingly thorough and helpful.”

In order to be thorough, we checked on “syfy” as well. This brought us just one biography (but a number of periodical results), for Lisa Kathleen Hamlin Lessard in Marquis Who’s Who. She is a spiritual counselor and librarian, and was on the SyFy (now known as Airlock Alpha) Portal Genre Awards Nominating Committee in 2004.

Source: “William Guy Contento.” Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2009.

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Posted on: July 7, 2009, 5:01 pm Category: Factoids Tagged with: , ,

2 Responses

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  1. “Syfy” is pronounced “sci-fi.”

    We’re not sure why they went with the small “F.” When we owned the name (I created the “SyFy” name in 1998), we always capitalized the “F” as a way to force the second syllable and hopefully get people to properly pronounce it “Sci-Fi.”

    Hope that helps!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. The Ascent (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) » Robert Holdstock linked to this post on July 8, 2009

    […] Biography Resource Center – Gale » Somebody cry, “why, why, why” […]

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