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News item dated 29 March 2014

With the 2014 London Worldcon getting closer, we thought it would be fun to put together a slideshow of London cover-art images as a new feature of the SF Encyclopedia Picture Gallery – and here it is. Naturally, once the ever-obsessive David Langford had upgraded the Gallery with a themed slideshow option, we couldn’t stop at just one. John Clute and Roger Robinson scanned and uploaded more and more covers and invented new themes. “Images of New York” soon followed, and “Author, Author” with depictions of many authors from the front covers of books, not necessarily their own. (Back-jacket photos are too easy.) See below for the complete current list. There are more in preparation: for example, we haven’t yet unearthed quite enough images for “Talking Squid in Outer Space”.

These slideshows are accessible from the Gallery front page via a pulldown menu at the bottom of the upper right-hand display pane, titled (with cunning misdirection) “Themed Slideshows”. You can inspect any theme as a set of cover thumbnails by checking the “Show as list” box before selecting the theme.

The rule of the Picture Gallery is that all covers must come from SF Encyclopedia Checklists (including “about the author” and “further reading”), which do not show routine reprints but only first editions, first English translations, significant revisions, variant titles and so on. This disqualifies many covers. Also, some themes may be lacking an otherwise perfect cover illustration because it hasn’t yet been scanned for the Gallery – or, horror of horrors, is indeed somewhere among our nearly 10,000 images but has so far been missed by the purblind editors. Feel free to put us right.

As always, new SFE features are free but we don’t object in the slightest to spontaneous donations.

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