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 18,000 entries are free to read online; 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.

Jarvis, E K

Tagged: Author | House name

Ziff-Davis House Name used 1942-1958 in Amazing, Fantastic Adventures and Fantastic for over 45 stories, primarily by Robert Moore Williams, who used the name as a personal pseudonym until the 1950s, when Robert Bloch, Paul W Fairman, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg and Henry Slesar also wrote as Jarvis. Bloch was the most frequent identified user of the byline in the 1950s, with seven appearances; many more "Jarvis" stories remain unidentified. "Biddy and the Silver Man" (February 1957 Fantastic) was long misattributed (even on his own website) to Harlan Ellison, but his company The Kilimanjaro Corporation announced in January 2020 that he had confirmed before his death that the story was...

Catalan SF

Tagged: International

Catalan is not just the language of Catalonia, but a language shared with other areas of Spain, France, and even Italy. Catalan is also the official language of Andorra, the small country set in the middle of the Pyrenees. Most Catalan speakers are bilingual, with Catalan being used as a first language by fewer than half of them. There is a certainly very solid literary tradition in Catalan, which includes a long list of sf works – among them an indispensable masterpiece, Manuel de Pedrolo's Mecanoscrit del segon origen ["Typescript of the Second Origin"] (1974).Science fiction entered the domain of the Catalan language in the last quarter of the 19th century. Some nineteenth-century highlig...

Dimension X

Tagged: Radio

Radio series (1950-1951). NBC-Radio network. Regular staff writers included Ernest Kinroy (1924-2014), George Lefferts, and Howard Rodman. Narrator: Norman Rose. 50 30-minute episodes. This was one of the earliest adult sf Radio drama anthology series, and was of reasonably high quality; most instalments were based on published sf stories, although Kinroy and Lefferts contributed several original plays. Dimension X was partnered with Astounding and for the most part adapted stories from that magazine; there was regular mutual promotion, with radio series advertisements running in Astounding. Some of the better-known sf stories to be adapted included "Universe" (May 1941 Astounding) by Rober...


Tagged: Theme

The word "robot" first appeared in Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. (1920; trans 1923), and is derived from the Czech robota (statute labour), making it clear that Čapek intended his drama to comment on Slavery (see Imperialism), class, race (see Race in SF), and social revolution. His robots were artificial human beings of organic origin, but the term is now usually applied to Machines, whether or not their appearance is humanoid; but common usage overlaps to some extent with that of Androids, the main distinction being an assumption that the latter are artificially created organic entities. Real-life assembly-line robots, increasingly numerous over the past half century, are adapted to specific f...

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