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 16,700+ entries are free online. A few sample entries 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 identify contributors, whose initials appear at the end of each entry, click the Incoming button.

Lewis, Brian

Tagged: Art

(1929-1978) British artist. After education at a technical school, he worked as a technical artist for Decca Radar until 1960, although he began doing interior art for John Carnell's New Worlds in 1954 and in 1957 began painting covers for that magazine, while also working for its sister magazines Science Fiction Adventures and Science Fantasy.Although Lewis's early covers were realistic, often foregrounding rather stiff-looking people, his cover for the December 1957 issue of Science Fantasy first displays the flair for more abstract imagery that would define his career. While surrealist artists Paul Klee (1879-1940) and Max Ernst (1891-1976) have been cited as influences, his works often s...

Ashen Stars

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (2011). Pelgrane Press. Designed by Robin D Laws. Ashen Stars is a Space Opera game which – like Trail of Cthulhu (2008), an earlier work which makes use of the same core mechanics – focuses on the solution of mysteries. As in Trail of Cthulhu, player characters can fail at any task except those required to reveal a clue relevant to their current conundrum. Discovering the truth behind the peculiar events with which sessions of the game generally begin is thus a problem for the players' intellects alone, as if they were reading a detective novel and attempting to guess the ending (see Crime and Punishment). Many of the puzzles encountered by the players will not be the res...

Energumen

Tagged: Publication | Fan

Canadian Fanzine (1970-1973; 1981) edited from Toronto, Ontario, by Mike Glicksohn (1946-2011) and Susan Wood. Sixteen issues, initially February 1970 to May 1973, with a final "revival" issue in September 1981. Though printed on a duplicator, in common with most fanzines of its day, Energumen was noted for the quality of its appearance and attracted original illustrations from many fan and sf artists, including Alicia Austin, Tim Kirk, Jack Gaughan and Vincent Di Fate. The written material ranged through sf, fandom, and general topics, and maintained a high standard with contributions from well-known fan and sf writers, including Avram Davidson, Gregory Benford, Bob Shaw and Robert Silverbe...

History in SF

Tagged: Theme

The real history of the world and the many Alternate Histories which might have replaced it are extensively featured in sf stories of Time Travel and Parallel Worlds, but sf writers have also drawn much inspiration from history in designing hypothetical futures. Sometimes, like Charles L Harness in Flight into Yesterday (May 1949 Startling; exp 1953; vt The Paradox Men) and James Blish in Cities in Flight (1950-1962 var mags; omni 1970), they have made use of actual theories – from Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) in the former case, Oswald Spengler in the latter – which have claimed to detect authentic cyclic patterns in history; more commonly, though, they have simply borrowed the past as a conv...

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