The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an English language reference work on science fiction, first published in 1979. In October 2011, the third edition was made available for free online.[1]

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
Cover of the original 1979 edition
Cover of the first edition
EditorPeter Nicholls, John Clute;
David Langford from 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SubjectScience 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
OCLC365133329
809.3876203
LC ClassPN3433.4

Publication history

Encyclopedia of SF trio
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,[2] 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.

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. 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.

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,[4] 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.[2] 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), conveying a sense of unity to the whole.

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.[5]

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.[6]

Bibliography

  • Nicholls, Peter (1979). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z. St Albans, Herts, UK: Granada Publishing Ltd. p. 672. ISBN 978-0-246-11020-6.[7]
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Orbit Books. p. xxxvi + 1370. ISBN 978-1-85723-124-3.[8]
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. xxxvi + 1386. ISBN 978-0-312-13486-0.[8]
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1995). The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (CD-ROM). Danbury, CT: Grolier Science Fiction. ISBN 978-0-7172-3999-3.[8]
  • Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1999). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Orbit Books. p. xxxvi + 1396. ISBN 978-1-85723-897-6.[8]
  • Clute, John; Langford, David; Nicholls, Peter; Sleight, Graham (2011). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. London: Gollancz. Retrieved 2 April 2014.

See also

References

  1. ^ Mission to Universe by Gordon R Dickson. "SFE: Science Fiction Encyclopedia". Sf-encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  2. ^ a b Debnath, Neela. "'The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction' makes internet debut". The Independent Blogs. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06.
  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. ^ "SFE Beta Text launches". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  5. ^ "Notes on Content". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  6. ^ "Introduction to the Third Edition". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  7. ^ The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z title listing. ISFDB. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  8. ^ a b c d The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-17. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.

External links

Babel-17

Babel-17 is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany in which the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (that language influences thought and perception) plays an important part. It was joint winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1967 (with Flowers for Algernon) and was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967.Delany hoped to have Babel-17 originally published as a single volume with the novella Empire Star, but this did not happen until a 2001 reprint.

Biology in fiction

Biology appears in fiction, especially but not only in science fiction, both in the shape of real aspects of the science, used as themes or plot devices, and in the form of fictional elements, whether fictional extensions or applications of biological theory, or through the invention of fictional organisms. Major aspects of biology found in fiction include evolution, disease, genetics, parasitism and symbiosis (mutualism), ethology, and ecology.

Speculative evolution enables authors with sufficient skill to create what the critic Helen N. Parker calls biological parables, illuminating the human condition from an alien viewpoint. Fictional alien animals and plants, especially humanoids, have frequently been created simply to provide entertaining monsters. Zoologists such as Sam Levin have argued that, driven by natural selection on other planets, aliens might indeed tend to resemble humans to some extent.

Major themes of science fiction include messages of optimism or pessimism; Helen N. Parker has noted that in biological fiction, pessimism is by far the dominant outlook. Early works such as H. G. Wells's novels explored the grim consequences of Darwinian evolution, ruthless competition, and the dark side of human nature; Aldous Huxley's Brave New World was similarly gloomy about the effects of genetic engineering.

Fictional biology, too, has enabled major science fiction authors like Stanley Weinbaum, Isaac Asimov, John Brunner, and Ursula Le Guin to create what Parker called biological parables, with convincing portrayals of alien worlds able to support deep analogies with Earth and humanity.

Donald H. Tuck

Donald Henry Tuck (3 December 1922 – 11 October 2010) was a bibliographer of science fiction, fantasy and weird fiction. His works were "among the most extensive produced since the pioneering work of Everett F. Bleiler."

Edisonade

"Edisonade" is a term, coined in 1993 by John Clute in his and Peter Nicholls' The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, for fictional stories about a brilliant young inventor and his inventions, many of which would now be classified as science fiction. This subgenre started in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and had its apex of popularity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Other related terms for fiction of this type include scientific romances. The term is an eponym, named after famous inventor Thomas Edison, formed in the same way the term "Robinsonade" was formed from Robinson Crusoe.

Equinox (novel)

Equinox is a 1973 novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany. His first published foray into explicitly sexual material, it tells of a series of erotic and violent encounters in a small American seaport following the arrival of an African-American sea captain. It is a non-science fiction work, though with fantastic elements.Peter Nicholls in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction described the work as "serious in intent, though likely to be shocking to most readers in its evocation of the extremes of sadomasochism in imagery which is sometimes poetic and often disgusting -and so intended- perhaps as a Baudelairean ritual of passage".

Fantastic Universe

Fantastic Universe was a U.S. science fiction magazine which began publishing in the 1950s. It ran for 69 issues, from June 1953 to March 1960, under two different publishers. It was part of the explosion of science fiction magazine publishing in the 1950s in the United States, and was moderately successful, outlasting almost all of its competitors. The main editors were Leo Margulies (1954–1956) and Hans Stefan Santesson (1956–1960); under Santesson's tenure the quality declined somewhat, and the magazine became known for printing much UFO-related material. A collection of stories from the magazine, edited by Santesson, appeared in 1960 from Prentice-Hall, titled The Fantastic Universe Omnibus.

Fix-up

A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.

The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interleaved throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.

Some fix-ups in their final form are more of a short story cycle or composite novel rather than a traditional novel with a single main plotline. Examples are Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles and Isaac Asimov's I, Robot, both of which read as a series of short stories which may share plot threads and characters but which still act as self-contained stories. By contrast, van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher is structured like a continuous novel although it incorporates material from three previous Van Vogt short stories.

Fix-ups became an accepted practice in American publishing during the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy—once published primarily in magazines—began appearing increasingly in book form. Large book publishers like Doubleday and Simon & Schuster entered the market, greatly increasing demand for fiction. Authors created new manuscripts from old stories to sell to publishers. Algis Budrys in 1965 described fixups as a consequence of the lack of good supply during the "bad years for quality" of the mid-1950s, although citing The Martian Chronicles and Clifford D. Simak's City as among exceptions.

Imagination (magazine)

Imagination was an American fantasy and science fiction magazine first published in October 1950 by Raymond Palmer's Clark Publishing Company. The magazine was sold almost immediately to Greenleaf Publishing Company, owned by William Hamling, who published and edited it from the third issue, February 1951, for the rest of the magazine's life. Hamling launched a sister magazine, Imaginative Tales, in 1954; both ceased publication at the end of 1958 in the aftermath of major changes in US magazine distribution due to the liquidation of American News Company.

The magazine was more successful than most of the numerous science fiction titles launched in the late 1940s and early 1950s, lasting a total of 63 issues. Despite this success, the magazine had a reputation for low-quality space opera and adventure fiction, and modern literary historians refer to it in dismissive terms. Hamling consciously adopted an editorial policy oriented toward entertainment, asserting in an early issue that "science fiction was never meant to be an educational tour de force". Few of the stories from Imagination have received recognition, but it did publish Robert Sheckley's first professional sale, "Final Examination", in the May 1952 issue, and also printed fiction by Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein and John Wyndham.

John Clute

John Frederick Clute (born 12 September 1940) is a Canadian-born author and critic specializing in science fiction (also SF, sf) 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 (the others including Malcolm Edwards, Colin Greenland, Roz Kaveney, and David Pringle).

Clute's articles on speculative fiction have appeared in various publications since the 1960s. He is a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (with Peter Nicholls) and of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (with John Grant), as well as writing The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction, all of which won Hugo Awards for Best Non-Fiction. He earned the Pilgrim Award, bestowed by the Science Fiction Research Association for Lifetime Achievement in the field of science fiction scholarship, in 1994.

Clute is also author of the collections of reviews and essays Strokes, Look at the Evidence: Essays and Reviews, Scores, Canary Fever and Pardon This Intrusion. His 2001 novel Appleseed, a space opera, was noted for its "combination of ideational fecundity and combustible language" and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book for 2002. In 2006, Clute published the essay collection The Darkening Garden: A Short Lexicon of Horror. The third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (with David Langford and Peter Nicholls) was released online as a beta text in October 2011 and has since been greatly expanded; it won the Hugo Award for Best Related Work in 2012.

The Encyclopedia′'s statistics page reported that, as of 24 March 2017, Clute had authored the great majority of articles: 6,421 solo and 1,219 in collaboration, totalling over 2,408,000 words (more than double, in all cases, those of the second-most prolific contributor, David Langford). The majority of these are Author entries, but there are also some Media entries, notably that for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Clute was a Guest of Honour at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, from 14 to 18 August 2014.

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is an award given annually to the best new writer whose first professional work of science fiction or fantasy was published within the two previous calendar years. The prize is named in honor of science fiction editor and writer John W. Campbell, whose science fiction writing and role as editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact made him one of the most influential editors in the early history of science fiction. The award is sponsored by Dell Magazines, which publishes Analog. The nomination and selection process is administered by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) represented by the current Worldcon committee, and the award is presented at the Hugo Award ceremony at the Worldcon, although it is not itself a Hugo Award. All nominees receive a pin, while the winner receives a plaque. Beginning in 2005, the award has also included a tiara; created at the behest of 2004 winner Jay Lake and 2005 winner Elizabeth Bear, the tiara is passed from each year's winner to the next.Members of the current and previous Worldcon are eligible to nominate new writers for the Campbell Award under the same procedures as the Hugo Awards. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, at which point a shortlist is made of the five most-nominated writers, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Voting on the ballot of five nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Writers become eligible once they have a work published anywhere in the world which was sold for more than a nominal amount. While final decisions on eligibility are decided by the WSFS, the given criteria for an author to be eligible are specifically defined as someone who has had a written work in a publication which had more than 10,000 readers and which paid the writer at least 3 cents per word and a total of at least 50 US dollars.Works by winners and nominees of the Campbell Award were collected in the New Voices series of anthologies, edited by George R. R. Martin, which had five volumes covering the awards from 1973 through 1977 and which were published between 1977 and 1984. Campbell nominees and winners, such as Michael A. Burstein, who was nominated in 1996 and won in 1997, have commented that the largest effect of winning or being nominated for a Campbell is not on sales but instead that it gives credibility with established authors and publishers. Criticism has been raised about the Campbell that due to the eligibility requirements it honors writers who become well-known quickly, rather than necessarily the best or most influential authors from a historical perspective.Over the 46 years the award has been active, 195 writers have been nominated. Of these, 47 authors have won, including one tie. There have been 51 writers who were nominated twice, 17 of whom won the award in their second nomination.

List of films featuring extraterrestrials

This is a list of films that feature extraterrestrial life.

Nebula Award

The Nebula Awards annually recognize the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States. The awards are organized and awarded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), a nonprofit association of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. They were first given in 1966 at a ceremony created for the awards, and are given in four categories for different lengths of literary works. A fifth category for film and television episode scripts was given 1974–78 and 2000–09, and a sixth category for video game writing was begun in 2018. The rules governing the Nebula Awards have changed several times during the awards' history, most recently in 2010. The SFWA Nebula Conference, at which the awards are announced and presented, is held each spring in the United States. Locations vary from year to year.

The Nebula Awards are one of the best known and most prestigious science fiction and fantasy awards and have been called "the most important of the American science fiction awards". Winning works have been published in special collections, and winners and nominees are often noted as such on the books' cover. SFWA identifies the awards by the year of publication, that is, the year prior to the year in which the award is given.

For lists of winners and nominees for each Nebula category, see the list of categories below.

Of the City of the Saved...

Of the City of the Saved... is an original novel by Philip Purser-Hallard set in the Faction Paradox universe. Laura Tobin, who first appeared in the BBC Doctor Who books, is a major character in the novel.

The full title, as given on the title page, is Of the City of the Saved... of its diverse citizenry and of its sundry divinities, with a disquisition on the protocols of history. The novel won Best Book in the 2004 Jade Pagoda awards, voted on by members of a Doctor Who book mailing list. It has been described as 'a stunning debut from Purser-Hallard and easily one of the best Doctor Who-related original novels published to date'. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls it "ambitious".

Peter Nicholls (writer)

Peter Douglas Nicholls (8 March 1939 – 6 March 2018) was an Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute.

Planetary romance

Planetary romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the background of a future culture where travel between worlds by spaceship is commonplace; others, particularly the earliest examples of the genre, do not, and invoke flying carpets, astral projection, or other methods of getting between planets. In either case, it is the planetside adventures which are the focus of the story, not the mode of travel.The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction mentions two caveats as to the usage of the term. First, while the setting may be in an alien world, its nature is of little relevance to the plot, as is the case of James Blish's A Case of Conscience. Second, hard science fiction tales are excluded from this category, where an alien planet, while being a critical component of the plot, is just a background for a primarily scientific endeavor, such as Hal Clement' s Mission of Gravity, possibly with embellishments.

A significant precursor of the genre is Edwin L. Arnold's Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905).In Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels (1985), editor and critic David Pringle named Bradley and Anne McCaffrey two "leading practitioners nowadays" for the planetary romance type of science fiction.There is a significant overlap of the genre with that of sword and planet.

The Adversary Cycle

The Adversary Cycle is a series of six novels written by American author F. Paul Wilson. Originally known as "The Nightworld Cycle" (this name is even printed in the front of some early editions of Nightworld), John Clute, in his section on F. Paul Wilson's work in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, kept referring to "the Adversary." The author liked that better and so renamed the cycle.

The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

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.

The book was well-received on publication. During 1998, it received the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and Locus Award. The industry publication Library Journal described The Encyclopedia of Fantasy as "the first of its kind".Since November 2012, the full text of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is available on-line, as a companion to the on-line Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. The editors of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction have stated that there are not any plans to update the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, at least for the foreseeable future, although some death dates post-1997 have been added.

The Man Who Lost the Sea

"The Man Who Lost the Sea" is a science fiction short story by American writer Theodore Sturgeon. Originally published in the October 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, it was nominated for (but did not win) the 1960 Hugo Award for Best Short Fiction.Writing in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, John Clute described "The Man Who Lost the Sea" as "strong, immeasurably complex, word-perfect and deeply fixative to the reader's memory".

Wonder Stories

Wonder Stories is an early American science fiction magazine which was published under several titles from 1929 to 1955. It was founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1929 after he had lost control of his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, when his media company Experimenter Publishing went bankrupt. Within a few months of the bankruptcy, Gernsback launched three new magazines: Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories, and Science Wonder Quarterly.

Air Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Stories were merged in 1930 as Wonder Stories, and the quarterly was renamed Wonder Stories Quarterly. The magazines were not financially successful, and in 1936 Gernsback sold Wonder Stories to Ned Pines at Beacon Publications, where, retitled Thrilling Wonder Stories, it continued for nearly 20 years. The last issue was dated Winter 1955, and the title was then merged with Startling Stories, another of Pines' science fiction magazines. Startling itself lasted only to the end of 1955 before finally succumbing to the decline of the pulp magazine industry.

The editors under Gernsback's ownership were David Lasser, who worked hard to improve the quality of the fiction, and, from mid-1933, Charles Hornig. Both Lasser and Hornig published some well-received fiction, such as Stanley Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey", but Hornig's efforts in particular were overshadowed by the success of Astounding Stories, which had become the leading magazine in the new field of science fiction. Under its new title, Thrilling Wonder Stories was initially unable to improve its quality. For a period in the early 1940s it was aimed at younger readers, with a juvenile editorial tone and covers that depicted beautiful women in implausibly revealing spacesuits. Later editors began to improve the fiction, and by the end of the 1940s, in the opinion of science fiction historian Mike Ashley, the magazine briefly rivaled Astounding.

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