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News item dated 2 October 2011

On October 3rd, the beta text of the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction went live.

To answer some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What exactly is a beta text?

In this context, it means a text of the SFE that isn’t yet complete. We think we’re about 3/4 of the way through compiling the Encyclopedia. Our current 3.2m wordcount will probably expand to 4.2m by the time we’re done at the end of 2012. So there will be some entries missing in the beta text, and some cross-reference links that aren’t yet working. Of course, we hope that 3.2m words will be enough to occupy everyone for a while....

Q: How are you going to update the text?

Updates will probably happen monthly, and be flagged through our blog, our Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

Q: My favorite author/film/TV programme doesn’t have an entry. Is this because the SFE is still a beta text?

In all probability, yes. We know there are a lot of missing entries at the moment. These gaps will be filled over the course of the next year or so.

Q: You say you’re going to “be done” with the SFE at the end of 2012. Does that mean you’ll stop updating it?

No. We intend to continue updating the SFE for as long as we’re partnered with our friends at Gollancz. End-2012 simply marks the point at which we’ll be able to claim the Encyclopedia is as comprehensive as we want it to be.

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