Welcome to the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls (emeritus) and Graham Sleight (managing). All the 17,500+ entries are free online. A few samples appear below. Click here for the Introduction and more on the text; here for Frequently Asked Questions; here for Advice to Students on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more on searching here) or browse the menu categories to the right of the SFE logo. To see what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/ Citation button at the top of the entry.

Corben, Richard

Tagged: Art

(1940-    ) US illustrator and film animator, who sometimes adds his middle initial to his signature, signing some work as Richard V Corben. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute, and worked for almost a decade with a Kansas City animation company, doing sf illustration (a cover for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1967, was his first sale) and underground Comics (mostly horror-oriented) on the side. He became a full-time freelance illustrator in 1972. Better known as a comic-book artist than as an sf illustrator, Corben in fact combines the fields in his work: his sf art can look cartoonish, while his comics art has the solid feel of sf illustration. While his men...


Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (1986). Steve Jackson Games (SJG). Designed by Steve Jackson.Although it was preceded by such earlier attempts as Worlds of Wonder (1982 Chaosium) designed by Steve Henderson, Gordon Monson, Steve Perrin, Greg Stafford, Lynn Willis, GURPS (the Generic Universal Role Playing System) was the first widely popular attempt to produce a set of mechanics for RPGs that could be used in any type of setting. While a generic system cannot be tailored to reinforce the designers' choice of tone, as is done in Call of Cthulhu (1981) or Paranoia (1984), many players appreciate being able to participate in a variety of narratives inspired by different literary genres without having to lear...

Fanciful Tales of Time and Space

Tagged: Publication

US Digest-size magazine. One issue, Fall 1936, published by Shepard & Wollheim; edited by Donald A Wollheim. Fanciful Tales of Time and Space contained a mixture of weird, sf and fantasy stories, including work by August Derleth, David H Keller and H P Lovecraft, as well as the first publication of Robert E Howard's poem "Solomon Kane's Homecoming". Fanciful Tales of Time and Space was, strictly speaking, a Semiprozine, rather like the earlier Marvel Tales – which is to say that, despite the print run being only 200, the magazine was for sale – although it seems to have found no adequate distribution. Wollheim planned a second issue but ran out of money and parted company from Wilson Shepard...


Tagged: Theme

A common item of sf Terminology, usually referring to the study and use of Psi Powers, under which head this meaning is discussed. The term seems to have first appeared in print in Jack Williamson's story "The Greatest Invention" (July 1951 Astounding). John W Campbell Jr became an eager advocate of psionics, not only in fiction but as a real-world possibility exemplified by the supposed marrying of psi powers with electronics as psionics in George de la Warr's Pseudoscientific "Hieronymus machine". This device, whose interpretation was highly subjective since it depended on changes in the perceived "stickiness" of a rubber pad stroked by the user's finger, contained electronic components bu...

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