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.


Tagged: Publication | Fan

US Semiprozine, originally a Fanzine, advertised as quarterly but in its earlier years often irregular; edited by D Douglas Fratz with Steven Goldstein as managing editor #1-#5 and sole editor of #6; 44 issues 1973-1992, #43/#44 being a double issue. Thrust #1 appeared in February 1973 as the magazine of the University of Maryland Science Fiction Society, with the first two issues carrying covers by Maurice Scott Dollens; it became independent of UMSFS with #7 dated Spring 1976 under the solo editorship of Fratz, who at this time stopped publishing fiction and established the blend of interviews, articles and reviews, emphasizing controversy and argument, which continued until the final iss...

Spielberg, Steven

Tagged: Film | TV | People

(1947-    ) US film-maker. Born in Cincinnati, raised in Arizona and an amateur film-maker in his early teens, Spielberg completed his first sf feature – the 140-minute Firelight (1963) – at the age of 16; he studied English rather than film at college in California. His first professional film was Amblin' (1969), a slick short about hitch-hiking which was distributed as a support feature with the very successful Love Story (1970); it secured Spielberg a contract with Universal Pictures' television division. His television debut was a segment of the 1969 pilot for Rod Serling's Night Gallery, starring Joan Crawford; in 1971 he made LA 2019, novelized by Philip Wylie as Los Angeles: AD 2017 (...

Space Opera

Tagged: Theme

When Radio was the principal medium of home entertainment in the USA, daytime serials intended for housewives were often sponsored by soap-powder companies; the series were thus dubbed "soap operas". The name was soon generalized to refer to any corny domestic drama. Westerns were sometimes called "horse operas" by false analogy, and the pattern was extended into sf terminology by Wilson Tucker in 1941, who proposed "space opera" as the appropriate term for the "hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn, spaceship yarn". It soon came to be applied instead to colourful action-adventure stories of interplanetary or interstellar conflict. Although the term still retains a pejorative implication, it is...

Wodhams, Jack

Tagged: Author

(1931-2017) UK-born author, in Australia from 1955, who began publishing sf with "There is a Crooked Man" for Analog in February 1967, and who after that contributed actively (though less prolifically since the 1970s) to magazine markets, both in Australia and in America, specializing in clear-cut tales about problem-solving; he primarily focused on short fiction, with over seventy stories published before 1999, when he stopped. His cold style is sometimes marred by facetiousness, in the Sunday-writer manner typical of many Hard-SF figures. Although the four novelettes assembled in Future War (coll 1982) were original to that volume, the thrust of his Analog style can still be felt in tales...

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