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.

Sorel, Edward

Tagged: Art | Author

(1929-    ) US illustrator, cartoonist and author born Edward Schwartz; he changed his name legally. In Moon Missing: An Illustrated Guide to the Future (1962) the Moon disappears and the early 1960s are satirized. The illustrations are more satisfyingly vindictive than the text. [PN]Edward Sorelborn New York: 26 March 1929died works Moon Missing: An Illustrated Guide to the Future (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962) [graph: illus/pb/Edward Sorel]links Internet Speculative Fiction Database Picture Gallery...

Portal

Tagged: Game

Videogame (1986). Nexa Corporation. Designed by Rob Swigart. Platforms: Amiga, AppleII, AtariST, C64, Mac, PCBoot.Portal was an attempt to create a "computer novel", a form that was intended to more closely resemble that of hyperfiction (see Hypertext) than that of the text Adventure. The player takes the part of an astronaut sent on a solitary mission of exploration in a slower-than-light Starship. When they return, a century after their departure, Earth is deserted and the only available clues to the mystery are buried in an abandoned worldwide information retrieval system. The terminal they use to communicate with this network is the interface to the game; the player's task is to search t...

Crank!

Tagged: Publication

US Semiprozine, Fall 1993 to #8 (undated 1998), initially quarterly but with a two-year gap before the final issue #8 in Spring 1988, trade paperback format, edited and published by Bryan Cholfin from Cambridge, Massachusetts.The uncompromising style of Cholfin's Broken Mirrors Press (which has published worthy though uncommercial projects by writers such as David R Bunch and R A Lafferty) informed this attractive Small Press fiction quarterly, which enjoyed a remarkably high level of editorial quality. Its issues included new fiction by Brian W Aldiss, Michael Bishop, Karen Joy Fowler, Gwyneth Jones, R A Lafferty, Ursula K Le Guin, Jonathan Lethem and Lisa Tuttle; it also republished Gene W...

Lie Detectors

Tagged: Theme

Sf authors frequently invoke devices that can tell truth from falsehood a great deal more reliably than real-world polygraphs. The latter are anticipated in "The First Watch" (June 1909 Hampton's Magazine) by Edwin Balmer and William MacHarg, later included in The Achievements of Luther Trant (coll 1910), while their mechanical limitations are considered in G K Chesterton's non-sf Father Brown detective story "The Mistake of the Machine" (October 1913 Pall Mall Magazine). There is an early film appearance of attempted lie detection via heart-rate measurement in Doctor X (1932).It is one of the odder features of future society on Earth and Venus in A E van Vogt's The World of Ā (August-Octobe...

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