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.

International Fantasy Award

Tagged: Award

UK-based Award, made annually from 1951 to 1955 and finally in 1957. The idea came from four UK enthusiasts: John Beynon Harris (John Wyndham), Frank Cooper, G Ken Chapman and Leslie Flood. The International Fantasy Awards were presented to the authors of the best fantasy or sf book of the year, with a second category for the best nonfiction book likely to be of interest to sf readers; the nonfiction class was dropped after 1953. Winners were selected by a panel of prominent sf personalities; from 1952 the panel was international. The award took the form of a trophy. Once the Hugos had been successfully launched, some of the raison d'être for the awards was gone, but in their time they were...

Perry Rhodan

Tagged: Publication | Character

German sf series, weekly, published by Verlagsunion Pabel Moewig (formerly Moewig-Verlag). Created by Walter Ernsting (who writes for the series as Clark Darlton) and Karl-Herbert Scheer, Perry Rhodan began in 1961 and is still current: at the end of 2011 about 2600 short volumes describing Perry Rhodan's (and many others') adventures and mankind's destiny had been published, a record quite without precedent in sf. The weekly booklet series is accompanied by a monthly paperback series, which fills some of the narrative gaps. Often thought of as aimed at the teenage market, Perry Rhodan is actually read, surveys show, by readers of all ages, both men and women.Though the stories have been dis...

Cassiday, Bruce

Tagged: Author | Critic

(1920-2005) US editor and author, who worked as editor with various Pulp-magazine publishers (mainly Popular Publications) and for Argosy from the May 1955 issue for some years. He wrote nonfiction under his own name, and fiction under various pseudonyms and/or House Names, including Carson Bingham, Mary Anne Drew, C K Fong, Annie Laurie McMurdie and Con Steffanson. His four sf novels are Ties: Gorgo (1960) as by Carson Bingham; Flash Gordon 4: The Time Trap of Ming XIII (1974) as by Con Steffanson; Flash Gordon 5: The Witch Queen of Mongo (1974) as by Bingham; and Flash Gordon: The War of the Cybernauts (1975) as by Bingham. The first, based on the film Gorgo (1961), is notable for the adde...


Tagged: Theme

Although the concept of "decadence", meaning the state of decay to which an institution has fallen after a long period of prosperity, can be dated to the early 1500s, the more modern sense, of an entire culture succumbing to an enervating lack of vitality (or an indulgence in sloth or sensual pleasures), began to emerge only in the nineteenth century. The belief that cultures eventually fall into a debilitating (and usually irreversible) sickness owes much to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788 6vols) by Edward Gibbon (1737-1794). While Gibbon (who did not use the term) blamed the Empire's fall on no single cause, "indolence" and the "licentious" behavior of va...

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