The Days of March

02 March 2014

As usual, the SF Encyclopedia editors have been toiling away behind the scenes. In mid-February the total text size crept beyond 4.3 million words, although it's probably not time to open more champagne until we pass the 4.5 million mark.

The Picture Gallery continues to grow, with nearly 9500 images currently available (most of the uploading and captioning done by our Research Editor, Roger Robinson). We're on course to have over ten thousand Gallery scans in place by the time of the 2014 London Worldcon -- whose guests of honour include John Clute, one of the principal SF Encyclopedia editors, and Malcolm Edwards, deputy CEO and publisher at Orion, whose Gollancz imprint publishes the SFE.

Further Picture Gallery developments include the introduction of thumbnail images as an alternative to the former text-only listings in the Gallery Search and What's New listings, making both these features very much more visually involving. Also, a new Gallery button labelled Sampler offers a kaleidoscopic display of fifty thumbnails (or, if you prefer, text captions) taken at random from the whole Gallery.

An SF Encyclopedia reader in Italy, who's researching nineteenth-century sf, asked whether it would be possible to extract a timeline of writers whose birth or death dates fall within any particular range of years. David Langford was sufficiently intrigued by the challenge to write a new SFE script for this -- see Timeline link below -- and went on to improve the handling of centenaries and other year-based anniversaries in the existing On This Day page whose button is a permanent fixture in the SFE Extras panel at the right (now including a Timeline link).

New entries are constantly being added -- at last including the geographical theme article on California, long present only as an [[Entry to follow]] stub. As always, click the What's New button on every page of the main SFE website to see the most recently added entries.

Lastly, we urge all our readers to keep spreading the word about the SF Encyclopedia. Regular users know it's a great sf resource, but although we've been public since October 2011, have won several awards and rank highly in sf-related Google searches, there are still people in the field who have somehow never heard of the SFE. Tell the world! Needless to say, donations are also always welcome.

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