Encyclopedia of Science Fiction – Third Edition Coming Soon

I am the happy owner of the massive 1993 second edition of this excellent reference work. Being the total sf geek that I am, I have indeed read the whole huge and heavy thing from cover to cover. But it’s nearly twenty years old now, and there’s been a lot of sf produced since then, so a new edition is definitely welcome.

I’d heard that the quite spectacular John Clute[1] and the ubiquitous David Langford[2] were the lead editors, with numerous other contributors. What I hadn’t realised was that the decision had been made that this would be an online-only publication. This makes a lot of sense – a printed version would be enormous, and therefore expensive to produce and even more expensive to buy, which would make sales low, which would make the costs relatively higher. Then there’s the usual problem with any reference work – as soon as it’s printed, it’s out of date. While most of the content would be fine, there would always be revisions, additional material, corrections, and much much more. So, online it is.

The really good news is that this won’t be on some kind of subscription basis. No, it’s going to be free, free, free. Publisher Gollancz, who have a long and honourable history of publishing sf[3] are supporting the project.

It’ll be going online later this year, with more material being added until it’s complete, towards the end of next year.

Report from BoingBoing

Official Encycopedia site

All I can say about this news is  :bouncy:

[1] He used to write book reviews in Interzone on a regular basis. Deep, thoughtful, considered reviews that were good vocabulary-building exercises. And he truly understood how serious some of Terry Pratchett’s funniest books were.
[2] Generally known for his Ansible Link newsletter, general fan writing and being a Good Thing
[3] Oh, those lovely yellow-jacketed books in the local library when I was a kid :drool:

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