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 16,700+ entries are free online. A few sample entries 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 identify contributors, whose initials appear at the end of each entry, click the Incoming button.

World Fantasy Award

Tagged: Award

The World Fantasy Awards have been presented in various categories since 1975, for work first appearing in the previous year. Presentations take place at the annual World Fantasy Convention. Although the award is naturally biased towards Fantasy and horror, a number of sf or near-sf novels have been honoured, and most of the winning authors have entries in this encyclopedia. We therefore list the winners for best novel of the preceding year, and for lifetime achievement, both listed by year of award. It has become a tradition of the life awards – inaugurated in 1998 (though prefigured by the five-way split of 1984) and generally followed since 2000 – that two lifetime achievement awards are...

Ka-Zar

Tagged: Publication | Character

US Pulp Magazine. Three issues, October 1936, January 1937 and June 1937, published by Manvis Publications; no editor named. The last issue was titled Ka-Zar the Great.Ka-Zar begins as a small boy, the sole survivor of a plane crash in Africa that kills his parents. He is raised by lions and becomes a character along the lines of Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli or Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan in his introductory adventure "King of Fang and Claw" (October 1936) by Bob Byrd, issued in book form as Ka-Zar, King of Fang and Claw (1937). The character was resuscitated by Marvel Comics in the 1960s, featuring in their Strange Tales series. The October 1936 launch issue of the magazine was reprinted as a...

Jakubowski, Maxim

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1944-    ) UK critic, publisher, bookseller, translator, anthologist and author. He was educated in France and writes in both French and English. After some time as a company director in the flavour industry, he turned to publishing, becoming Managing Director of Virgin Books (1980-1983) and then taking up directorships of Zomba and Rainbird. Between 1988 and his retirement in 2009 he ran the Murder One bookshop, in central London, which specialized in mysteries; between 1991 and 2005 this incorporated the New Worlds sf outlet. As a writer he has published about thirty books, those in English mostly concerning rock music and the mystery field. Generally more at ease in short-story length, i...

Xenobiology

Tagged: Theme

The study of lifeforms that may exist elsewhere than on Earth is called xenobiology or exobiology. It is one of the few legitimate sciences to have, as yet, no direct experimental application other than the tests carried out on the surface of Mars to see if the soil showed any of the biological activity that might be associated with the presence of microscopic lifeforms. (It seemed for a time as if some of the results of this experiment might be positive; it is now thought they were caused by nonbiological factors.) Numerous essays on exobiological themes have appeared in scientific journals, on subjects ranging from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), through speculations about...

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