Kipfer, Barbara Ann. Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus. (Second edition) New York, NY: Dell Books, 1999.
Reference type: Dictionaries
Authority: Roget's has always been a trusted name for thesauri. This one is of the same high quality as the previous editions.
Audience Relation: A writer should always have a thesaurus around. The only writers who do not need them are either naturally gifted with a memory extensive vocabularies or unconcerned about redundant, cliched, or stilted word choices in their work.
Scope: This book is meant to provide anyone who opens it with a list of synonyms for most English language words.
Content Evaluation: Thesauri in general are a good idea, but this one in particular is a great idea! This edition is an oversized paperback that fits nicely on any shelf or in any bookbag. The pages are a creamy buff color and thick enough to withstand many turnings. The spine seems to be built to last as well, which is important since this is an often referenced book for most writers.
The two features that set this thesaurus apart from others are its dictionary format and concept section in the back. The dictionary format allows people to look up words in a form to which they are used. The concept section at the back clusters words in little sections (such as food) so that people can access them in a different way. This is particularly useful for overcoming tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon when one can think of a word's meaning, but not the word itself nor any synonyms. This edition of the book also includes many recent additions to the language as well as some slang terms. All of these are useful to writers who want to add local flavor or current terminology to their work.
Overall, this is a very practical edition to any writer's shelf, science fiction or otherwise.