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 more than 17,600 entries are free to read 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 see what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/Citation button at the top of the entry.

Kyle, David A

Tagged: Art | Author | Fan

(1919-2016) US sf fan, illustrator, owner of several radio stations, publisher and author. Kyle was a member of First Fandom, having been active in the field since 1933. Until the 1970s his writing activities were only occasional, though his first published sf was "Golden Nemesis" – which he also illustrated – for Stirring Science Stories in February 1941. (He had in fact sold this five years earlier and it had been scheduled to appear in the June 1936 Wonder Stories, which was never produced because the magazine was sold to Standard Magazines.) In 1948, with Martin Greenberg, he founded the fan publishing company Gnome Press, which maintained what were probably the highest standards of any...

Lensman

Tagged: Game

Board and counter Wargame (1969). Designed by Philip Pritchard.Lensman is the earliest known sf Wargame to be made available commercially. Like Spacewar (1962), it was inspired by E E Smith's Lensman books. Unlike that game, and despite its lack of authorization from Smith's estate, it is intimately involved with its source material, and difficult to fully understand without a preexisting knowledge of the milieu. The game mechanics are carefully chosen to represent the super-scientific technologies of the novels, especially when dealing with Smith's apocalyptic vision of combat between opposing fleets of enormously potent spacecraft. Lensman depicts one battle in the war between Smith's Aris...

Skyrack

Tagged: Publication | Fan

UK Fanzine (1959-1971) edited by Ron Bennett, which was Britain's principal and indispensable Newszine throughout the 1960s. There were 96 issues in all, stencil-duplicated in UK quarto format, typically 4pp; #1 was dated April 1959 and #96 was dated July 1971, there having been a long gap since the penultimate #95 in May 1968. The title masthead used from #2 onward was lettered by Eddie Jones. Bennett covered sf and fan news – both local and overseas – in a relaxed, gossipy style. The entire sequence is archived online [see links below] and was eventually assembled with related material as The Complete Skyrack (2017 ebook). Skyrack's final winding-down (1967 and 1968 each saw only one issue...

Radio Boys

Tagged: Theme

Less important and numerous than the extremely popular Airship Boys tales and series in the first half of the twentieth century, the smallish subgenre of boys' stories devoted to Radio Boys remains of some interest in the development of sf. As usual in almost all the series ultimately derived from Dime Novels and – very frequently – written and published to emulate the success of the Tom Swift series from the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the Radio Boys books depended on storylines in which two or more young "chums" are introduced by mentors into a world in which the mentor's Inventions and/or the chums' own engineering ingenuity propels the plot. Tied far more closely to the actual state of Radio...

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