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Statistics

Entry updated 15 July 2024. Tagged: Prelim.

As of the latest update to this page on 15 July 2024, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction contains 20,066 entries totalling 7,058,802 words. There are 251,403 internal hyperlinks between entries, corresponding to cross-references in past book editions.

When the online Encyclopedia was first launched in October 2011 as the Third Edition, the figures were 12,230 entries, 3,222,920 words and 113,492 hyperlinks. The second print edition (1993) had 6571 entries totalling 1,311,108 words, with 41,712 internal cross-references; the slightly expanded CD-ROM (1995) had 6732 entries totalling 1,378,261 words, with 43,302 internal links. The first edition (1979), assembled without the help of word processors, ran to 3574 entries and an estimated 730,000 words; no one has been able to face counting the book's internal cross-references by hand.

The entry count for each edition includes many cross-reference-only entries which may have little or no actual content but refer readers to other entries where their subject is covered. The great majority of these cross-reference-only items fall into the following categories: author Pseudonyms such as "French, Paul / Pseudonym of Isaac Asimov."; names of collaborators not given full entries but referenced in the entries for their co-authors; and variant titles of films, magazines and television series. See Editorial Practices for more. The entry count breaks down to 2865 full and 709 cross-reference entries in the first edition; an estimated 4360+ full and 2100 cross-reference entries in the second edition; 4530 full and 2202 cross-reference entries in the CD-ROM edition; and 14,852 full and 5214 cross-reference entries in the current state of this online edition.

Of the major contributors, John Clute continues to lead the pack with 7668 entries written solo and 1394 more in collaboration, many of the former (he wishes to emphasize) being short, and the latter generally being updates to already existing entries. He would also wish to underline the fact that, partly because most of them contain Checklists whose complexities are exacting, the final shape of many of these entries is even more than usual due to David Langford's editorial oversight, to the extent that many of them are in effect co-creations.

The entry-count figures for other contributors of twenty or more solo entries (either at the time of the third edition's online launch in October 2011 or subsequently attained), with joint-credit counts added in parentheses, are:

  • David Langford 836 (1466)
  • Steven Pearce 661 (10)
  • Peter Nicholls 451 (1008)
  • Geoffrey Stevens 419 (205)
  • Neal Tringham 344 (35)
  • Jonathan Clements 265 (12)
  • Mike Ashley 242 (276)
  • Gary Westfahl 205 (88)
  • Nick Lowe 170 (30)
  • Adam Roberts 147 (27)
  • Mathew Downward 96 (5)
  • John Grant 89 (42)
  • Jack Nicholls 62 (26)
  • John Brosnan 55 (233)
  • Brian Stableford 41 (192)
  • Abigail Nussbaum 40 (4)
  • Chris Watkins 40 (0)
  • Martin Lewis 32 (5)
  • Lee Weinstein 35 (29)
  • Kim Newman 30 (23)
  • Esther MacCallum-Stewart 27 (2)
  • Mariano Villarreal 25 (0)
  • Malcolm Edwards 24 (152)
  • John-Henri Holmberg 21 (4)
  • Roger Robinson 21 (21)
  • John Eggeling 20 (86)
  • Lavie Tidhar 20 (0)

In terms of approximate word counts, the leading contributors are John Clute with over 3,045,000 words, David Langford with 793,000, Steven Pearce with 465,000, Peter Nicholls with 458,000, Neal Tringham with 242,000, Jonathan Clements with 236,000, Brian Stableford with 183,000, Mike Ashley with 163,000, Geoffrey Stevens with 149,000, Gary Westfahl with 133,000, Mathew Downward with 91,000, Nick Lowe with 76,000, Malcolm Edwards with 72,000, John Brosnan with 43,000, Adam Roberts with 42,000, John Grant with 39,000, Jack Nicholls with 34,000, Mariano Villarreal with 34,000, John Eggeling with 30,000, John-Henri Holmberg with 31,000, Abigail Nussbaum with 30,000 and Konrad Walewski with 26,000. All figures are rounded down to the nearest thousand, with a threshold for inclusion in the above list of 20,000 words either at the time of the online edition's launch in October 2011 or subsequently attained. (Both solo entry counts and word counts can decrease when an entry is reworked by some other contributor to a sufficient extent that credit must now be shared.)

In the preparation of the above "league tables" credit is given for each separately signed section within large omnium-gatherum entries like Batman Films and Tarzan Films, which seems only fair. Collaborative entry or entry section word counts are shared equally among contributors to that entry or entry section.

The total number of books cited in Checklists is now over 84,500 after eliminating obvious duplications of books with two or more authors (which as a rule are separately cited in each author's Checklist); the counting procedure is known to ignore a small number of pseudo-doublings where books which are in fact distinct have the same title and year of publication. The report of the number of images in the Picture Gallery archive is exact, and this total is automatically updated on the Gallery page [see links below] whenever new material is added. More than 6,600 entries in the encyclopedia have links to relevant cover images in the Gallery.

For the sake of sanity, this "Statistics" entry is not necessarily updated for every small change or correction to the encyclopedia's text. [DRL]

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