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 17,000+ 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 find what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/Citation button.

Philip K Dick Award

Tagged: Award

Award founded in 1983 by admirers of Philip K Dick, who died in 1982. Because much of Dick's classic sf was published with no fanfare and initially without a hardcover edition, it seemed appropriate to give the award to a distinguished work of sf or fantasy of the previous year first published in paperback. The award was initially suggested by Thomas M Disch, who was for several years its administrator; he was succeeded by an administrative team of Algis Budrys and David G Hartwell; for a time Hartwell administered the award alone and currently does so with Gordon Van Gelder. Winners are chosen by a jury (with variously three, four or five members) of writers and critics, most of whom choose...


Tagged: Publication | Character

US Pulp Magazine. Three issues, October 1936, January 1937 and June 1937, published by Manvis Publications; no editor named. The last issue was titled Ka-Zar the Great.Ka-Zar begins as a small boy, the sole survivor of a plane crash in Africa that kills his parents. He is raised by lions and becomes a character along the lines of Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli or Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan in his introductory adventure "King of Fang and Claw" (October 1936) by Bob Byrd, issued in book form as Ka-Zar, King of Fang and Claw (1937). The character was resuscitated by Marvel Comics in the 1960s, featuring in their Strange Tales series. The October 1936 launch issue of the magazine was reprinted as a...

Moskowitz, Sam

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1920-1997) US sf historian, author and anthologist; he also worked, as Sam Martin, as an editor of trade magazines for the frozen-foods industry, retiring in 1985. For a long time, as a prominent member of sf Fandom since 1936, Moskowitz was among the best known of all historians and commentators from within Genre SF; his work in this field antedates that of nearly all non-genre historians of the field, with the notable exception of J O Bailey. Though he had earlier compiled David H Keller's Life Everlasting (1947), his first authored book was The Immortal Storm: A History of Science Fiction Fandom (essays Fall 1945-Fall 1953 Fantasy Commentator; 1951 mimeograph; rev 1954), a history of ear...


Tagged: Theme

Monsters have always stalked the hinterlands of the imagination, emblems of fear and symbols of guilt. They commonly take their aspects and roles from the supernatural imagination (see Supernatural Creatures); but the scientific imagination has produced many monsters of its own. The recruitment to the Horror story of monsters spawned by Nature was pioneered by H G Wells's classic alien-Invasion story The War of the Worlds (1897) and by William Hope Hodgson's sea stories. Sf monsters are often familiar but repulsive creatures made monstrous by increasing their size (see Great and Small), and Alien monsters are often created by chimerical redeployment of the nastier features of earthly creatur...

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