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Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction goes online only

06/07/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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The third edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, a reference work in the field, will be released online later this year by the newly-formed ESF, Ltd, in association with Victor Gollancz, the SF & Fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, whose support will enable the text to be available free to all users.

This initial “beta” version, containing about three-quarters of the total projected content, will be unveiled in conjunction with Gollancz’s celebrations of its 50th anniversary as a science fiction publisher.

The first edition of the Encyclopaedia, whose founder and general editor was Peter Nicholls, appeared in 1979, and contained over 700,000 words. A second edition, edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls, appeared in 1993 and contained over 1.3 million words. The beta version of the third edition will contain some 3 million words, including about 12,000 entries and 100,000 internal links. The entries cover various areas of science fiction, including authors, illustrators, movies, music, games, and fanzines. The text will be completed, through monthly updates, by the end of 2012.



The third edition has been produced by editors John Clute and David Langford, Editor Emeritus Peter Nicholls, and Managing Editor Graham Sleight. Contributing Editors for the third edition include Mike Ashley on magazines, Paul Barnett on artists and illustrators, Jonathan Clements on all aspects of Japanese and Chinese SF, Nick Lowe on movies, Abigail Nussbaum on television, John Platt on comics, and Adam Roberts on music. During the Encyclopedia’s development, the project has been supported by Clare Coney as Technical Editor, Roger Robinson as Research Editor, John Lifton-Zoline, and Pamela Lifton-Zoline. Robert Kirby of United Agents, The Bookseller’s Literary Agent of the Year 2011, represents the Encyclopaedia.

Orion Deputy CEO and Group Publisher Malcolm Edwards said, “We’re delighted to have been able to facilitate the online publication of this monumental and definitive work – more than ever the single, reliable reference source which anyone interested in SF needs. As a contributing editor to that long-ago first edition, it’s a particular pleasure to me to have been able to play a part in making this happen.”

Anyone interested in signing up for the latest news on the project can do so at www.sf-encyclopedia.com

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