5,271,009

14 December 2016

We really meant to have a special celebration when the SF Encyclopedia word count reached the semi-magic figure of 5,271,009, but inevitably the total went straight from Less Than That to (Slightly) More Than That during our 7 December update. The number, often used by such sf pundits as Patrick Nielsen Hayden and David Langford to signify the subtle concept "ever so many" or "lots", is the title of Alfred Bester's cover story for the March 1954 issue of F&SF -- see below. Also known as "The Starcomber", this wittily sends up numerous sf Clichés born of adolescent wish-fulfilment. Meanwhile we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas or other seasonal festivity of your choice ...

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