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.

Retro Hugo

Tagged: Award

Retrospective Hugo awards may be voted under certain circumstances to fill the perceived gap left by a past World SF Convention at which no Hugos were presented. Besides voting the usual Hugos for the previous year's sf, a Worldcon can optionally allow its members to choose Retro Hugos which might have been but were not presented at the actual (not hypothetical) Worldcon of 50, 75 or 100 years previously. These awards have been presented five times: in 1996 for 1945 work, in 2001 for 1950 work, in 2004 for 1953 work, in 2014 for 1938 work and in 2016 awards for 1940 work. Since Hugo presentations have continued without a break since 1954, all the 50-years-ago opportunities have now been take...

Luckhurst, Roger

Tagged: Author | Editor | Critic

(1967-    ) UK academic and author who brings a wide armamentarium of lucidly deposed critical and cultural theory to the study of sf, which he defines – or restricts for his purposes – as becoming a cluster of modalities of strong interest toward the end of the nineteenth century, when "discourses" of modernism and sf begin inchoately to take shape and shape each other (see Identity; Modernism in SF). Science Fiction (2005), his cogently argumentative (and contestable) historical study of the genre, conspicuously begins around 1880, almost the exact point at which Adam Roberts's equally argumentative (and contestable) The History of Science Fiction (2006) becomes dismissively telegraphic....

Stereolab

Tagged: Music

Anglo-French band, formed by Tim Gane (1964-    ) and Lætitia Sadier (1968-    ). Stereolab's eclectic, synthetic sound comprises indie guitar, electronica, krautrock and world music, and their fascination with sf has been enduring, although in a playful rather than consistently engaged manner. An early EP was called Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (1993) and their second major label album release was Mars Audiac Quintet (1994) (although "The Stars Our Destination" on that latter release has nothing specifically to do with Alfred Bester). Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996) – the title is the English translation of the title of surrealist director Shuji Terayama's 1971 film Tomato Kecchappu Kôtei – i...

Synaesthesia

Tagged: Theme

Item of Terminology relating to Perception, which in normal use denotes association or cross-referencing between the senses, so that (to take a commonplace example) the colour orange may evoke the smell of oranges. The poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was fond of such metaphorical sense-associations. In the nonfantastic crime novel Opening Night (1951; vt Night at the Vulcan) by Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982) the protagonist associates colours with voices, with the detective's voice being "a royal blue of the clearest sort"; similar inward linking of colours with numbers or the days of the week has been frequently reported. A frustrated artist needs telepathic aid to communicate his syna...

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