The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an English language reference work
Reference work
A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference. That is, the information is intended to be quickly found when needed. Reference works are usually referred to for particular pieces of information, rather than read beginning to end...

 on science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...


Publication history

The first edition, edited by Peter Nicholls
Peter Nicholls (writer)
Peter Nicholls is an Australian literary scholar and critic. He is the creator and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction ....

 with John Clute
John Clute
John Frederick Clute is a Canadian born author and critic who has lived in Britain since 1969. He has been described as "an integral part of science fiction's history."...

 and Brian Stableford
Brian Stableford
Brian Michael Stableford is a British science fiction writer who has published more than 70 novels. His earlier books were published as by Brian M. Stableford, but more recent ones have dropped the middle initial and appeared under the name Brian Stableford...

 appeared in 1979, published by Granada. It was retitled The Science Fiction Encyclopedia in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 when published by Doubleday. 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 greatly expanded second edition, jointly edited by Nicholls and Clute, did not appear until 1993, published by Orbit
Orbit Books
Orbit Books is an international publisher that specialises in science fiction and fantasy books. It was founded in 1974 as part of the Macdonald Futura publishing company...

 in the UK and St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in the Flatiron Building in New York City. Currently, St. Martin's Press is one of the United States' largest publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under eight imprints, which include St. Martin's Press , St...

 in the US. The paperback edition included an addendum. Unlike the first edition, the print versions did not contain illustrations. The CD-ROM version, styled variously as The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Grolier Science Fiction, contained text updates through 1995, hundreds of book covers and author photos, and author video clips taken from the TVOntario
TVOntario, often referred to only as TVO , is a publicly funded, educational English-language television station and media organization in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is operated by the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Ontario...

 series Prisoners of Gravity
Prisoners of Gravity
Prisoners of Gravity was a Canadian public broadcasting television news magazine program that explored speculative fiction — science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books — and its relation to various thematic and social issues...

. This CD will not run by itself under Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista, but needs Windows 9x versions (Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME), or an Apple computer. Contributing editor David Langford
David Langford
David Rowland Langford is a British author, editor and critic, largely active within the science fiction field. He publishes the science fiction fanzine and newsletter Ansible.-Personal background:...

 built his own frontend on the data from the CD-ROM, so Linux and modern Windows users can still have access to the CD multi-media experience.

All print and CD-ROM editions are out of print. It was announced in 2005 that future editions will be available exclusively online, with publication then expected in 2007. In July 2011, Orion Publishing Group
Orion Publishing Group
Orion Publishing Group Ltd. is a UK-based book publisher. It is owned by Hachette Livre. In 1998 Orion bought Cassell.-History:Full history of the group can be found on Orion Publishing Group is owned by -Imprints:...

 announced that the third edition would be released online later that year by ESF Ltd in association with Victor Gollancz
Victor Gollancz Ltd
Victor Gollancz Ltd was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century. It was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz and specialised in the publication of high quality literature, nonfiction and popular fiction, including science fiction. Upon Gollancz's death in 1967, ownership...

, Orion's science fiction imprint. The "beta text" of the third edition launched on-line on 3 October 2011.

The companion volume is The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a 1997 reference work on fantasy, 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 upon...



The work has different types of entries:
  • Author entries, including entries on writers who have written about science fiction or whose ideas fed into the genre
  • Theme entries, on subjects often encountered in science fiction, e.g. telepathy
    Telepathy , is the induction of mental states from one mind to another. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference...

     or robots, but also entries about science fiction itself (like the history of science fiction)
  • Terminology entries, similar to theme entries, explaining common words used in science fiction (e.g. ion drive) as well as terms used to describe science fiction
  • Science fiction in various countries, entries that describe science fiction in the non-English speaking world
  • Films. While the focus of the encyclopedia lies with written science fiction, 500 films are mentioned in the 1992 hardcover edition
  • Television. Roughly 100 entries about TV series of science fiction interest have been included
  • Magazines. This includes the science fiction magazines, but also those pulp
    Pulp magazine
    Pulp magazines , also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long...

     magazines that regularly featured sf content and academic magazines about science fiction.
  • Fanzines.
  • Comics. Entries have science fiction comics, publishers, writers and artists.
  • Illustrators. These entries only contain artists whose work is most closely associated with the science fiction genre, mostly book or magazine illustrators.
  • Book publishers. Present and past science fiction publishers have their own entries. There are theme entries about publishing.
  • Original anthologies. Some original anthology series are given their own entries.
  • Awards. Certain science fiction awards have their own entries and there is also a more general entry on them.
  • Games. The 3rd edition adds coverage of science fiction games, with entries given to gamebook
    A gamebook is a work of fiction that allows the reader to participate in the story by making effective choices. The narrative branches along various paths through the use of numbered paragraphs or pages...

    s, role-playing, board
    Board game
    A board game is a game which involves counters or pieces being moved on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Games may be based on pure strategy, chance or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal which a player aims to achieve...

    , card
    Card game
    A card game is any game using playing cards as the primary device with which the game is played, be they traditional or game-specific. Countless card games exist, including families of related games...

    , war
    A wargame is a strategy game that deals with military operations of various types, real or fictional. Wargaming is the hobby dedicated to the play of such games, which can also be called conflict simulations, or consims for short. When used professionally to study warfare, it is generally known as...

     and video games.
  • Miscellaneous. Some 30 entries that did not fit elsewhere, including on science fiction organisations, collections, publishing formats and even some character entries.

The first edition of the encyclopedia was awarded the 1980 Hugo Award
Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

 for Best Non-Fiction Book, and the second edition awarded the Hugo in 1994.

See also

  • The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
    The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
    The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a 1997 reference work on fantasy, 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 upon...

  • The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
    The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
    The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an illustrated collection of bibliographic essays on the history and subject matter of science fiction. It was edited by Brian Ash and published in 1977 by Pan Books in the UK and Harmony/Crown Books in the US...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.