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.

Carnegie Medal

Tagged: Award

This Award for distinguished works written for children was established in 1936 in memory of the Scots-born industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Though not specifically a genre award, it has several times been presented for Fantasy and supernatural fiction whose themes border on or overlap Children's SF and Young Adult genre work, and in 2011 went for the first time to an outright sf novel: Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking, Book Three: Monsters of Men (2010). Below we list the Carnegie recipients who have entries, or are otherwise discussed, in this encyclopedia. [DRL] 1936: Arthur Ransome, Pigeon Post (1936) 1944: Eric Linklater, The Wind on the Moon (1944) 1956:...

Spider, The

Tagged: Publication | Character

US Pulp magazine, 118 issues October 1933 to December 1943; monthly until February 1943, bimonthly thereafter. Published by Popular Publications; edited initially by Rogers Terrill until mid-1936 when he was elevated to Editorial Director, and then by a succession of editors until W Ryerson Johnson closed down the final issue. The Spider, one of the hero/villain pulps, began as a straightforward imitation of the highly successful The Shadow, telling of a mysterious caped avenger. The first two novels were by R T M Scott; the remainder, credited to the House Name Grant Stockbridge, were mainly by Norvell W Page with others by Emile C Tepperman, Wayne Rogers and Prentice Winchell (1895-1976).U...

Levin, Bernard

Tagged: Author | Critic

(1928-2004) UK journalist and critic best remembered for his vast output of often polemical and/or satirical newspaper essays, notably in The Times 1971-1997; nine volumes of selections, a small fraction of the total, appeared in book form. Levin's nonfiction A World Elsewhere (1994) is a popular survey of, and meditation upon, the various myths and dreams of Utopia – from ancient legends of Atlantis to speculative writings of the twentieth century. Narrative sf receives its due, with particular acknowledgement to the then-recent history of sf, Trillion Year Spree (1986) by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove; the dark mirror image of Dystopia is also considered, citing such examples as William...


Tagged: Theme

A Zoo is an enclosure whose inmates are not allowed to leave and who may be observed at will. With the possible exceptions of the ghetto, the quarantine and the Prison, the Zoo thus defined can be distinguished from other enclosed venues, real or imagined: from the wildlife preserve, the Keep, the Island, the circus, the reservation, the Garden City, the Utopia or Dystopia, the twenty-first century cruise ship whose passengers may become citizens and never dock (see Ship of Fools; Transportation). Other characteristics of the typical Zoo, though normally encountered, are optional: that its inmates may be experimented upon; that they may be displayed to the public; that they may be induced to...

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