Welcome to the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls (emeritus) and Graham Sleight (managing). All the 17,000+ entries are free online. A few samples appear below. Click here for the Introduction and more on the text; here for Frequently Asked Questions; here for Advice to Students on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more on searching here) or browse the menu categories to the right of the SFE logo. To find what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/Citation button.

Pares, Bip

Tagged: Art

Working name of UK illustrator Ethel Pares (1904-1977); the "Bip" came from her childhood attempt to pronounce the name of a family horse. Some of her best work appeared on the covers of sf novels, such as E Phillips Oppenheim's The Dumb Gods Speak (1937) and the same author's Mr Mirakel (1943), both Near Future tales involving Inventions; her work featured on quite a number of Oppenheim's non-sf novels, too. She did covers for an impressive array of other crime-fiction writers, including several for Michael Gilbert. Among further authors to receive a plurality of Pares covers was James Hilton; for Goodbye Mr Chips (1934) she did not only the cover but interior Illustrations. Far more centra...

Reich Star

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (1991). Creative Encounters. Designed by Ken Richardson, Simon Bell. Reich Star is a Space Opera set in a world where the Nazis won (see Hitler Wins). In its Alternate History Germany's early development of atomic weapons allowed it to conquer the Allies in what is now known as the "War of Unification". Two hundred years later, Earth – or "Erde" – is heavily polluted and severely over-populated, trapped in a centuries-long Cold War between the totalitarian empires of Nippon and the Reich. Meanwhile, both superpowers have expanded to the stars, subjugating and enslaving every alien species they encounter. The two sides keep their conflict warm by sponsoring terrorist attack...

Sexton Blake Library

Tagged: Publication | Character

Sexton Blake, a long-running fictional detective sometimes known as the poor man's Sherlock Holmes, shares (though not in his earliest incarnations) several Holmes characteristics including residence in London's Baker Street; his adventures, however, are substantially more melodramatic. Created in "The Missing Millionaire" (December 1893 The Halfpenny Marvel) by Harry Blyth writing as Hal Meredeth, the character developed into an extensive Series franchise which continued until 1978, with more than 4000 Blake stories by roughly 200 authors. Five series of the Sexton Blake Library appeared from 1915 to 1968, with fantastic elements occasionally intruding. Associated House Names are Desmond Re...


Tagged: Theme

Item of fan Terminology usually denoting the Recursive-SF naming of fictional characters for members of the sf and fan community. The term derives from Wilson Tucker, who frequently "tuckerized" friends and whose Wild Talent (1954; exp 1955; vt The Man from Tomorrow 1955) is a classic – though far from the first – instance. Character surnames in this novel include Bixby, Carnell, Conklin and Palmer, while the full name of Walter Willis is given to the arch-Villain. Here only names are echoed, not personalities or physical descriptions. Other authors went beyond mere naming. Anthony Boucher's detective story Rocket to the Morgue (1942) slightly disguises its sf characters: John W Campbell Jr,...

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