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.


Strick, Philip

Tagged: Film | Author | Editor | Critic

(1939-2006) UK sf and film critic, anthologist, teacher, and director of a film library. In 1969 he initiated one of the first adult evening classes in sf in the UK, sponsored by the University of London at the City Literary Institute (see SF in the Classroom), which continued until 1992 under various tutors including John Clute, Colin Greenland, Peter Nicholls, Christopher Priest, Brian Stableford and Lisa Tuttle. Strick's Science Fiction Movies (1976) is a witty, rather helter-skelter account of sf Cinema, one of the best early books on the subject (despite its lack of a filmography). His film criticism continued to appear in Monthly Film Bulletin, later incorporated into Sight and Sound;...

Ariss, Bruce

Tagged: Art | Author

(1911-1994) US author, illustrator, designer, inventor, muralist and theatre director/producer who studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and then at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. He published "Dreadful Secret of Jonas Harper" as early as 1948 in What's Doing? Magazine, long before he published his one sf novel, Full Circle (1963), about a Post-Holocaust conflict between Amerindians and a tiny cadre of white survivors of the War of Poisoned Lightning (see World War Three); the Amerindians make do in the Ruined Earth they have inherited, though the white, having hidden away for the past 250 years in the usual Pocket Universe underground, come close to destroy...

Fighting Fantasy

Tagged: Game

Gamebook series (from 1982). Puffin, Wizard Books. Designed by Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone. The idea of single-player Role Playing Game scenarios was first used in a number of adventures for the early fantasy game Tunnels and Trolls (1975 Flying Buffalo [FB]) designed by Ken St Andre, beginning with Buffalo Castle (1976 FB) designed by Rick Loomis. In essence, these scenarios replaced the Gamemaster's human intelligence with a predesigned multilinear plot (see Interactive Narrative), making it possible to play the game alone, but left the rest of the system's mechanics intact. The form did not achieve mass popularity, however, until Games Workshop founders Jackson and Livingstone created...

Science Fiction Research Association

Tagged: Community

This group was formed in October 1970 to aid and encourage sf scholarship, especially in the USA and Canada. The first chairman was Thomas D Clareson. The organization has acted as a central liaison between academics teaching sf in the USA, though academic affiliation is not a requirement for membership, which can be active, honorary, institutional, student or emeritus. Members receive SFRA Newsletter (retitled SFRA Review in 1992) ten times a year; the annual SFRA Directory; and the critical journals Extrapolation and Science Fiction Studies. 1977 membership was 330, 1991 membership was 313 – of whom over 50 came from outside the USA – so it has remained much the same size. The SFRA holds a...

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