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 more than 17,600 entries are free to read 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.

Ōtomo Katsuhiro

Tagged: Film | Comics | Art | Author

(1954-    ) Japanese Manga creator and film-maker, who became the most famous Anime director abroad in the early 1990s, largely on the basis of a single film. Like Hayao Miyazaki in the following decade, he occupied an iconic position as the face of the medium, despite conceiving much of his output in reaction to it. His comics debut, not sf, was with "Jūsei" ["Gun Report"] (August 1973 Manga Action), based on the novella "Mateo Falcone" (1833) by Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870). For the next ten years, he juggled manga short stories in several genres, including Bible pastiches and mundane drama, as a weekly contributor to Manga Action throughout the 1970s, and then increasingly for its rival Yo...

Paranoia [game]

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (1984). West End Games (WEG). Designed by Greg Costikyan, Daniel Gelber, Ken Rolston, Eric Goldberg.Playing Paranoia is an exercise in perversity and frustration, where the watchwords are "fear, ignorance and suspicion". The setting is a Post-Holocaust Underground City ruled by a Computer suffering from Paranoia and multiple personality disorder; it is characteristic that the Computer is obsessed with rooting out "mutant commies", but has itself created the ultimate in totalitarian communist societies. The world of Paranoia is similar to the Dystopian futures of Logan's Run or 1984, but played for laughs. Arguably, the game itself functions as a brutal Satire of some earlie...

Amazing Stories

Tagged: Publication

"The magazine of scientifiction", with whose founding Hugo Gernsback announced the existence of sf as a distinct literary species. It was initially a letter-sized SF Magazine issued monthly by Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing Company as a companion to Science and Invention and Radio News, first issue dated April 1926, and was the first magazine to publish science fiction exclusively. The original title survived to 2005, through a succession of publishers, and was subsequently resurrected by a new publisher (Steve Davidson) who acquired the title in 2011 and relaunched online in July 2012.The publication regime of Amazing Stories saw great changes even in its early years. Gernsback lost co...

Pressor Beam

Tagged: Theme

Term coined by E E Smith in Spacehounds of IPC (July-September 1931 Amazing; 1947) – initially as "a pusher or presser beam", so spelt – for a Force-Field application that pushes targeted objects away from the beam's projector, reversing the action of the fictional Tractor Beam. In the same year as Smith's story, Neil R Jones's "The Jameson Satellite" (July 1931 Amazing) deploys "radium repulsion rays" (see Elements) to fend off meteors. The pressor beam has been widely adopted by sf authors, both as an item of Terminology and a plot convenience – usually in conjunction with the tractor beam, as for example in Poul Anderson's "Margin of Profit" (September 1956 Astounding). The all-purpose Ra...

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