The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
Editor Peter Nicholls, John Clute;
David Langford from 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Subject Science fiction
Publisher
Media type
  • Print (1979, 1993, 1995, 1999)
  • CD-ROM (1995)
  • Online (2011)
Pages
  • 672 pp, 1979
  • 1370 pp, 1993
  • 1386 pp, 1995
  • 1396 pp, 1999
OCLC 365133329
809.3876203
LC Class PN3433.4

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (SFE) is an English language reference work on science fiction, first published in 1979. It has won the Hugo, Locus and British SF Awards. Two print editions appeared in 1979 and 1993. A third, continuously revised, edition was published online from 2011; a change of web host was announced as the launch of a fourth edition in 2021.

Contents

History

Malcolm Edwards, John Clute and Peter Nicholls discussing the early days of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction at Loncon 3, Worldcon 2014 Encyclopedia of SF trio.jpg
Malcolm Edwards, John Clute and Peter Nicholls discussing the early days of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction at Loncon 3, Worldcon 2014

The first edition, edited by Peter Nicholls with John Clute, [1] was published by Granada in 1979. It was retitled The Science Fiction Encyclopedia when published by Doubleday in the United States. Accompanying its text were numerous black and white photographs illustrating authors, book and magazine covers, film and TV stills, and examples of artists' work. [2]

A second edition, jointly edited by Nicholls and Clute, was published in 1993 by Orbit in the UK and St. Martin's Press in the US. The second edition contained 1.3 million words, almost twice the 700,000 words of the 1979 edition. [3] The 1995 paperback edition included a sixteen-page addendum (dated "7 August 1995"). Unlike the first edition, the print versions did not contain illustrations. There was also a CD-ROM version in 1995, styled variously as The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Grolier Science Fiction. [4] This contained text updates through 1995, hundreds of book covers and author photos, a small number of old film trailers, and author video clips taken from the TVOntario series Prisoners of Gravity .

The companion volume, published after the second print edition and following its format closely, is The Encyclopedia of Fantasy edited by John Clute and John Grant. [4] All print and CD-ROM editions are currently out of print.

In July 2011, Orion Publishing Group announced that the third edition of The Science Fiction Encyclopedia would be released online later that year by SFE Ltd in association with Victor Gollancz, Orion's science fiction imprint. The "beta text" of the third edition launched online on 2 October 2011, [5] with editors John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls (as editor emeritus until his death in 2018) and Graham Sleight. The encyclopedia is updated regularly (usually several times a week) by the editorial team with material written by themselves and contributed by science fiction academics and experts. [1] It received the Hugo Award for Best Related Work in 2012. Though the SFE is a composite work with a considerable number of contributors, the three main editors (Clute, Langford and Nicholls) have themselves written almost two-thirds of the 5.2 million words to date (September 2016), giving a sense of unity to the whole. [4]

The Encyclopedia ended its arrangement with Orion on 29 September 2021 and moved to a new, self-owned web server. The move was completed by 6 October 2021, and announced as the launch of the fourth edition. While based on the earlier design, the new edition incorporates a number of revisions; for instance, many author entries now include thumbnails of the author's book covers, randomly selected from the relevant Gallery pages. [6]

Contents

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction contains entries under the categories of authors, themes, terminology, science fiction in various countries, films, filmmakers, television, magazines, fanzines, comics, illustrators, book publishers, original anthologies, awards, and miscellaneous. [7]

The online edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction was released in October 2011 with 12,230 entries, totaling 3,200,000 words. The editors predicted that it would contain 4,000,000 words upon completion of the first round of updates at the end of 2012; this figure was actually reached in January 2013, and 5,000,000 words in November 2015. [8]

Awards

EditionAwards [9]
1st ed. (1979) Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book
Locus Award for Best Related Non-Fiction
2nd ed. (1993) Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book
Locus Award for Best Non-Fiction
BSFA Award (Special Award)
3rd ed. (2011) Hugo Award for Best Related Work
BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction

Publications

See also

Related Research Articles

Hard science fiction Science fiction with concern for scientific accuracy

Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by concern for scientific accuracy and logic. The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell's Islands of Space in the November issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The complementary term soft science fiction, formed by analogy to hard science fiction, first appeared in the late 1970s. The term is formed by analogy to the popular distinction between the "hard" (natural) and "soft" (social) sciences, although there are examples generally considered as “hard” SF, such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, built on mathematical sociology. Science fiction critic Gary Westfahl argues that neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy; instead they are approximate ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful.

<i>Babel-17</i>

Babel-17 is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany in which the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis plays an important part. It was joint winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1967 and was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967.

<i>The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction</i> American magazine

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a U.S. fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in 1949 by Mystery House, a subsidiary of Lawrence Spivak's Mercury Press. Editors Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas had approached Spivak in the mid-1940s about creating a fantasy companion to Spivak's existing mystery title, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. The first issue was titled The Magazine of Fantasy, but the decision was quickly made to include science fiction as well as fantasy, and the title was changed correspondingly with the second issue. F&SF was quite different in presentation from the existing science fiction magazines of the day, most of which were in pulp format: it had no interior illustrations, no letter column, and text in a single column format, which in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley "set F&SF apart, giving it the air and authority of a superior magazine".

John Clute Canadian science fiction and fantasy literary critic

John Frederick Clute is a Canadian-born author and critic specializing in science fiction and fantasy literature who has lived in both England and the United States since 1969. He has been described as "an integral part of science fiction's history" and "perhaps the foremost reader-critic of sf in our time, and one of the best the genre has ever known." He was one of eight people who founded the English magazine Interzone in 1982.

Peter Nicholls (writer) Australian literary scholar and critic (1939–2018)

Peter Douglas Nicholls was an Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute.

Ace Books American specialty publisher of science fiction and fantasy books

Ace Books is a publisher of science fiction and fantasy books founded in New York City in 1952 by Aaron A. Wyn. It began as a genre publisher of mysteries and westerns, and soon branched out into other genres, publishing its first science fiction (SF) title in 1953. This was successful, and science fiction titles outnumbered both mysteries and westerns within a few years. Other genres also made an appearance, including nonfiction, gothic novels, media tie-in novelizations, and romances. Ace became known for the tête-bêche binding format used for many of its early books, although it did not originate the format. Most of the early titles were published in this "Ace Double" format, and Ace continued to issue books in varied genres, bound tête-bêche, until 1973.

<i>The Encyclopedia of Fantasy</i>

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a 1997 reference work concerning fantasy fiction, edited by John Clute and John Grant. Other contributors include Mike Ashley, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, David Langford, Sam J. Lundwall, Michael Scott Rohan, Brian Stableford and Lisa Tuttle.

SF Site is a science fiction online magazine edited by Rodger Turner. Established in June 1997 by John O'Neill and Turner, it is based in Canada, but includes contributors from around the world. It publishes reviews of science fiction books, films, and television, and features interviews with authors and fiction excerpts. Contributors include Steven H Silver, Richard Lupoff, Rick Norwood, Victoria Strauss, Mark London Williams, and Rick Klaw.

Science fiction magazine

A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard-copy periodical format or on the Internet. Science fiction magazines traditionally featured speculative fiction in short story, novelette, novella or novel form, a format that continues into the present day. Many also contain editorials, book reviews or articles, and some also include stories in the fantasy and horror genres.

Locus: The Magazine of The Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, is an American magazine published monthly in Oakland, California. It is the news organ and trade journal for the English language science fiction and fantasy fields. It also publishes comprehensive listings of all new books published in the genres. The magazine also presents the annual Locus Awards. Locus Online was launched in April 1997, as a semi-autonomous web version of Locus Magazine.

<i>Infinity Science Fiction</i> 1950s US science fiction magazine

Infinity Science Fiction was an American science fiction magazine, edited by Larry T. Shaw, and published by Royal Publications. The first issue, which appeared in November 1955, included Arthur C. Clarke's "The Star", a story about a planet destroyed by a nova that turns out to have been the Star of Bethlehem; it won the Hugo Award for that year. Shaw obtained stories from some of the leading writers of the day, including Brian Aldiss, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Sheckley, but the material was of variable quality. In 1958 Irwin Stein, the owner of Royal Publications, decided to shut down Infinity; the last issue was dated November 1958.

Phyllis Eisenstein American writer

Phyllis Eisenstein was an American author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels whose work was nominated for both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award.

<i>Science-Fiction Handbook</i>

Science-Fiction Handbook, subtitled The Writing of Imaginative Fiction, is a guide to writing and marketing science fiction and fantasy by L. Sprague de Camp, "one of the earliest books about modern sf." The original edition was published in hardcover by Hermitage House in 1953 as a volume in its Professional Writers Library series. A revised edition, by L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, titled Science Fiction Handbook, Revised, was published in hardcover by Owlswick Press in 1975 and as a trade paperback by McGraw-Hill in 1977. An E-book version of the revised edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on April 30, 2014.

"Exhalation" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ted Chiang, about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It was first published in 2008 in the anthology Eclipse 2: New Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Jonathan Strahan. In 2019, the story was included in the collection of short stories Exhalation: Stories.

Science Fiction magazine is a long running science fiction critical journal published in Australia by SF academic Van Ikin from the University of Sydney and later the University of Western Australia. Contributing editors have included writer Terry Dowling and book collector and reviewer Keith Curtis.

<i>Two Complete Science-Adventure Books</i> US pulp science fiction magazine

Two Complete Science-Adventure Books was an American pulp science fiction magazine, published by Fiction House, which lasted for eleven issues between 1950 and 1954 as a companion to Planet Stories. Each issue carried two novels or long novellas. It was initially intended to carry only reprints, but soon began to publish original stories. Contributors included Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, and James Blish. The magazine folded in 1954, almost at the end of the pulp era.

Carolyn Ives Gilman

Carolyn Ives Gilman is an American historian and author of science fiction and fantasy. She has been nominated for the Nebula Award three times, and the Hugo Award twice. Her short fiction has been published in a number of magazines and publications, including Fantasy and Science Fiction, Interzone, Realms of Fantasy and Full Spectrum, along with a number of "year's best" anthologies. She is also the author of science fiction novels such as Halfway Human, which is noted for its "groundbreaking" exploration of gender.

<i>Fantasy Book</i> American science fiction magazine (1947–1951)

Fantasy Book is a defunct semi-professional American science fiction magazine that published eight issues between 1947 and 1951. The editor was William Crawford, and the publisher was Crawford's Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. Crawford had problems distributing the magazine, and his budget limited the quality of the paper he could afford and the artwork he was able to buy, but he attracted submissions from some well-known writers, including Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Bloch, and L. Ron Hubbard. The best-known story to appear in the magazine was Cordwainer Smith's first sale, "Scanners Live in Vain", which was later included in the first Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology, and is now regarded as one of Smith's finest works. Jack Gaughan, later an award-winning science fiction artist, made his first professional sale to Fantasy Book, for the cover illustrating Smith's story.

The Science Fiction Awards Database (SFADB) is an index of science fiction, fantasy, and horror awards compiled by Mark R. Kelly and published by the Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Known formerly as the Locus Index to SF Awards, it has been cited as an invaluable science fiction resource, and is often more up-to-date than the awards' own websites.

References

  1. 1 2 Debnath, Neela. "'The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction' makes internet debut". The Independent Blogs. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015.
  2. James, Edward (1993). "Review: John Clute and Peter Nicholls, eds. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction" . Foundation . 58: 100–103.
  3. Fox, Rose (6 July 2011). "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Goes Digital, Searchable, and Free". Publishers Weekly Blog. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 Nicoll, James Davis (10 April 2020). "All Hail The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, Bringer of Knowledge!". Tor.com . Macmillan.
  5. "SFE Beta Text launches". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  6. Glyer, Mike (6 October 2021). "New Publisher and Other Changes Herald Encyclopedia of Science Fiction's Fourth Edition". File 770 .
  7. "Notes on Content". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  8. "Introduction to the Third Edition". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  9. "Peter Nicholls Awards". Science Fiction Awards Database . Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  10. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z title listing. ISFDB. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  11. 1 2 3 4 The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-17.