News item: 22 August 2012
Several long-planned SF Encyclopedia website improvements went live on 21 August 2012. These include:
- A new “widget” (as the technical people call it) in the right-hand column, with buttons giving extra options as follows. A “Random” lucky-dip entry or a “Random New” entry – where “new” here means “added since the 1993 book and 1995 CD-ROM editions. A ”What’s New" listing of the most recently added entries. A “Shopping” option at last allowing control of affiliate links (which originally all went to Amazon UK). An “SFE Facts” shortcut to the editors’ home page, where various other extras are available: these include an Anniversaries page showing births and deaths for today or any selected day.
- New buttons in all entries to improve the browsing experience. “Previous” and “Next” move to the alphabetically previous or next entries, skipping over cross-reference entries without significant content. “Incoming” lists all entries that link to the present one, as with Wikipedia’s “What links here”. This is a major key to the structure of the SFE.
- Some smaller fixes. Selected text in entries no longer shows in a garish “hot pink” background colour. Entry headwords now appear as we wrote them without forced capitalization: eXistenZ and .hack rather than EXistenZ and .Hack. “All news items” does what it says rather than showing only the latest three such items. (News items are dated SFE bulletins like this one.)
- Some overall changes to the text. We now come clean with “binding unknown” in Checklist entries rather than using the cryptic “??” or “na” standing for “not applicable” (the latter is still used for ebooks. CD-ROMs and so on where the hb/pb distinction genuinely doesn’t apply). Dates are now given as CE and BCE rather than BC and AD. The asterisks used in previous editions to mark spinoff works like film novelizations – e.g. Star Wars * (1976) – no longer appear, since the information is noted as “tie” or “tie to ...” in author Checklists. And, as always, much more text has been added: we are now approaching 3.7 million words.
Our thanks to STEEL of London, Darren Nash of Gollancz and Hachette IT for working with us on the website changes.