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 18,000 entries are free to read online; 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.


Wilson, Gahan

Tagged: Art

(1930-2019) American artist and author, best known for his work outside the genre as a cartoonist, his career beginning in the mid-1940s; associated mainly for many decades with such Slick magazines as Playboy (from 1957) and The New Yorker (from 1980). The bizarre and often macabre sense of Humour he displayed in his innumerable cartoons, though influenced by such precursors Charles Addams (1912-1988), has had a broad impact on the style and substance of American culture as a whole. He drew in distinctively sprawling lines which encouraged distortions and grotesques, a good visual match for his habitual black- comedy subjects: funerals, Death, Devils, oozing Monsters, Vampires and seedy ver...

Arrow, William

Tagged: Author | House name

A House Name used by Ballantine Books for the Return to the Planet of the Apes Ties, based not on the Planet of the Apes films but on the later animated Television series. William Rotsler wrote #1 Visions from Nowhere (1976) and #3 Man, the Hunted Animal (1976); Donald J Pfeil wrote #2, Escape from Terror Lagoon (1976). [DRL]"William Arrow"works seriesReturn to the Planet of the Apes Return to the Planet of the Apes 1: Visions from Nowhere (New York: Ballantine, 1976) by William Rotsler [tie: Return to the Planet of the Apes: pb/] Return to the Planet of the Apes 2: Escape from Terror Lagoon (New York: Ballantine, 1976) by Donald J Pfeil [tie: Return to the Planet of the Apes: pb/] Return...

Savage Worlds

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (2003). Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG). Designed by Shane Lacy Hensley. Like GURPS (1986), Savage Worlds is a generic system, designed to allow players to participate in worlds based on any literary genre, from science fiction to urban fantasy. But where GURPS emphasizes the accuracy with which it simulates fictional realities, Savage Worlds concentrates on providing entertaining gameplay, through the medium of a deliberately simplified set of mechanics derived from those of the designer's Great Rail Wars miniatures game (see Deadlands). As might be expected from its ancestry, the system assumes that physical models will be used, making it easier to visualize tactics d...


Tagged: International

Most Western sf readers associate Poland principally with the work of Stanisław Lem, whose books, widely published, much appreciated, and thoroughly scrutinized in the West, had a profound impact on the field. Lem still remains an iconic figure both in and out of Poland, while his enormous worldwide popularity more or less directly inspired the interest in the earlier Fantastika (John Clute's umbrella term seems particularly useful in this context, in part because of its Central- and Eastern European origin) of such Polish writers as Stefan Grabiński. Nevertheless, it is true to say that in contrast to England or France, Polish literature has no long and opulent tradition of the fantastic. I...

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