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.

Steber, A R

Tagged: Author | House name

A House Name initially used 1938-1945 in the Ziff-Davis magazines, mostly in Amazing Stories. The primary user was Raymond A Palmer, once in collaboration with Joseph J Millard and once with John Russell Fearn writing as Thornton Ayre; the first Steber story, by Palmer solo, was "The Blinding Ray" (August 1938 Amazing). Later, from 1950, Palmer's friend Rog Phillips used it in Other Worlds. There is no substance in the anagram-inspired suggestion that Alfred Bester might have used the name; Steber was in fact the surname of Palmer's maternal grandmother. [PN/DRL] links Internet Speculative Fiction Database Picture Gallery...


Tagged: Theme | Comics

Note: because both the original entry written by Brian W Aldiss for the 1979 First Edition, and the continuation written by Peter Nicholls for the 1993 Second Edition, can be regarded as interpretative essays on sf art by important critics as well as historical surveys, the decision has been made to retain them in their original form, and to add a third essay covering more recent developments. [GW]1. From the Beginnings to 1978The historical function of art in sf has been to illustrate rather than interpret; this reflects the hard-edged nature of early Genre SF itself, which portrayed technics-dominated society rather than interpreting its raisons d'être; just as this kind of sf was popular...

Alley Oop

Tagged: Comics

US Comic strip, created and drawn by V T Hamlin from 5 December 1932 for Bonnet-Brown, a small firm which soon collapsed, then from 1933 for the NEA syndicate; Hamlin retired from the daily strip in 1968 and from the Sunday strip in 1973, when it was taken over by his assistant Dave Graue (1926-2001). Drawn in a style more comically exaggerated than usual in adventure strips, though with clear affection, Oop is a tough and likeable Neanderthal warrior, half Popeye, half Buck Rogers. His adventures were initially restricted to his home territory of Moo – the echo of the legendary sunken continent Mu (see Atlantis; Lost Worlds) clearly being deliberate – but he soon began to visit various eras...

Thomsen, Brian M

Tagged: Author | Editor

(1959-2008) US author and editor (sometimes as Brian Thomsen only) who was a founding editor of the New York Warner Books imprint Questar in the late 1980s, for which he edited many sf books of importance; later, from the early 1990s, he edited fantasy fiction for TSR, and from 1997 operated as a freelance author and editor, including consulting editorial work for Tor Books.Thomsen began to publish work of genre interest with "The Locksley Scenario" in The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood (anth 1991) edited by Martin H Greenberg. His two novels, beginning with Once Around the Realms (1995), are Fantasy Ties to the Forgotten Realms Shared-World universe [see Checklist below]. He edited a nu...

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