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 17,650 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.

Carnegie Medal

Tagged: Award

This Award for distinguished works written for children was established in 1936 in memory of the Scots-born industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Though not specifically a genre award, it has several times been presented for Fantasy and supernatural fiction whose themes border on or overlap Children's SF and Young Adult genre work, and in 2011 went for the first time to an outright sf novel: Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking, Book Three: Monsters of Men (2010). Below we list the Carnegie recipients who have entries, or are otherwise discussed, in this encyclopedia. [DRL] 1936: Arthur Ransome, Pigeon Post (1936) 1944: Eric Linklater, The Wind on the Moon (1944) 1956: C S...

Porcupine Tree

Tagged: Music

UK progressive rock band, founded by Steven Wilson (1967-????), relatively little-known but prolific and deftly creative of a series of attractive and musically complex sonic structures, often sf or Fantasy in styling. "Jupiter Islands" (on On The Sunday of Life, 1991) describes a gauchely "Dancers at the End of Time" cosmos ("Magenta forests on a crimson sea ... Scarlet moons in a domino sky"); although "Space Transmission" and "Radioactive Toy" are more controlled. The spacious Pink Floyd-like soundscapes of The Sky Moves Sideways (1995) details a materially disintegrating world, but this apocalypse is so dreamily hallucinogenic as wholly to avoid the usual outré stylings of this manner of...

Wachowski, Lana

Tagged: Film | People

(1965-????) US filmmaker known until 2008 as Laurence (Larry) Wachowski, who regularly works in partnership with younger sister Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski (1967-????). The team came to attention in the early 1990s with their coarsely satirical Horror script Carnivore; this was not filmed, but landed them the writing of action flop Assassins (1995), on the back of which they pitched producer Joel Silver an ambitious (and expensive) Cyberpunk venture about Conceptual Breakthrough and Virtual Reality entitled The Matrix (1999). Unwilling to commit to a high-risk project with untried directors, Silver first assigned them the low-budget lesbian crime drama Bound (1996). The Matrix was duly g...


Tagged: Game | Theme

Many sf stories make use of this ancient Board Game of stylized War, which emerged in recognizable form in India and China by approximately the sixth century and spread westward, reaching Europe by the eleventh century. Its numerous appearances in Fantasy include Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-glass (1871), whose introduction of living chess pieces has been enormously influential, and which is structured around an eccentric chess game whose moves are usefully traced in The Annotated Alice (1960; rev 1970; exp rev 2000) by Martin Gardner. In Poul Anderson's "The Immortal Game" (February 1954 F&SF), sentient Robot pieces believe they possess free will but merely enact the moves of a class...

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