SFE site makeover
22 August 2012
Several long-planned SF Encyclopedia website
improvements went live on 21 August 2012. These include:
• A new "widget" (as the technical people call it) in the
right-hand column, with buttons giving extra options as follows. A
"Random" lucky-dip entry or a "Random New" entry -- where "new"
here means "added since the 1993 book and 1995 CD-ROM editions. A
"What's New" listing of the most recently added entries. A
"Shopping" option at last allowing control of affiliate links
(which originally all went to Amazon UK). An "SFE Facts" shortcut
to the editors' home page, where various other extras are
available: these include an Anniversaries page showing births and
deaths for today or any selected day.
• New buttons in all entries to improve the browsing experience.
"Previous" and "Next" move to the alphabetically previous or next
entries, skipping over cross-reference entries without significant
content. "Incoming" lists all entries that link to the present one,
as with Wikipedia's "What links here". This is a major key to the
structure of the SFE.
• Some smaller fixes. Selected text in entries no longer shows
in a garish "hot pink" background colour. Entry headwords now
appear as we wrote them without forced capitalization: eXistenZ and
.hack rather than EXistenZ and .Hack. "All news items" does what it
says rather than showing only the latest three such items. (News
items are dated SFE bulletins like this one.)
• Some overall changes to the text. We now come clean with
"binding unknown" in Checklist entries rather than using the
cryptic "??" or "na" standing for "not applicable" (the latter is
still used for ebooks. CD-ROMs and so on where the hb/pb
distinction genuinely doesn't apply). Dates are now given as CE and
BCE rather than BC and AD. The asterisks used in previous editions
to mark spinoff works like film novelizations -- e.g. Star
Wars * (1976) -- no longer appear, since the
information is noted as "tie" or "tie to ..." in author Checklists.
And, as always, much more text has been added: we are now
approaching 3.7 million words.
Our thanks to STEEL of London, Darren Nash of Gollancz and
Hachette IT for working with us on the website changes.