Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by symbolhunter, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. symbolhunter

    symbolhunter Science-Fantasy Zealot

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  2. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that link, symbol.

    Spent the last couple of days browsing at random through it.

    And I've just been told I'm in the Acknowledgements of the new edition too:

    http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/Entry/acknowledgments

    I am very surprised, pleased and honoured. The Encyclopedia from Edition 1 has been a wonderbook for me that has opened up so many possibilities for reading...

    Mark
     
  3. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Go Mark!

    At this rate, SFFWorld will be taking over the universe! :D
     
  4. symbolhunter

    symbolhunter Science-Fantasy Zealot

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    Thanks so much for helping to bring that invaluable work to us! :) :cool: :)
     
  5. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    And thank you for the thank you's!

    BUT I did very little, really: which is why I was so surprised at the mention.

    Don't want anyone to get the wrong idea - its certainly nothing like the work David Langford, Graham Sleight, John Clute et al have done. It's a phenomenal work.

    All I did was compare some of the old with the newer....


    *goes away to find cat to stroke whilst contemplating universal domination.....* :D

    Mark
     
  6. offog

    offog Registered User

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    I remember signing up to be notified via email when this would be available. They must have thought I wasn't serious. Thanks for the link.
     
  7. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Not sure it's that, offog. Check your spam filter!

    Having said that, I haven't got mine either.....

    Thinking further, it is in the beta testing stage at the moment: there are errors which I understand the team are picking up and addressing.

    Might only be for the 'proper' version up and running?

    Mark
     
  8. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer Author of novels

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    I notice a lot of Brit authors aren't listed - myself, Ian Whates, Mark Charan Newton... probably quite a few more. :rolleyes:
     
  9. offog

    offog Registered User

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    I checked the junk and didn't see it, but there's a lot of detritus to hide amongst.

    Ooh, hadn't noticed that deficiency yet.
     
  10. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure these issues will be addressed eventually, even if they haven't already.

    I'm not sure but I don't think the beta is the full version, so to speak.

    I'm also getting the impression that the online version will be a continuous 'work in progress' - one of the reasons why it's gone online! - so that there will be additions all the time. It is a lot easier to do that electronically than it was in the print versions (though I love my hefty paper versions) *hug* :)

    Mark
     
  11. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer Author of novels

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    It was only a casual point. It's not like I'm bothered. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    MCN's books are definitely fantasy, so I assume non-eligible for an SF encyclopedia.

    It's interesting how focused they are being on this. Scott Bakker is listed for Neuropath alone (or rather he will be, as he's a 'not added yet' category at the moment). Oddly though, Steven Erikson is not listed (even in the incomplete category) for The Devil Delivered, a work of SF. There's also some oddities in the gaming section: Crysis is mentioned but its forerunner, Far Cry, isn't, although with its background in genetic engineering and Doctor Moreau-inspired storyline it seems to be just as applicable.

    I must admit I particularly enjoy the TV entries though. As an old-school Babylon 5 fan, the SFE's assessment that DS9 has aged better and is probably now the stronger series in retrospect is a bitter pill, but also one that I think is ultimately difficult to argue against. Its assessment of Neo-BSG (great show, completely loses the plot in the last two seasons) is also very close to mine, and the cautionary note that Firefly is great but for all we know it could have nosedived in quality if it had kept going is interesting.
     
  13. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Disagree.

    There's some pretty obvious Shannara-esque links to our world. The relics are magical yet mechanical, there's the blue space woman and quite a few science fiction elements kicking around. It's still fantasy, sure, but there are some sci-fi elements to it.
     
  14. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    I don't think that's good enough for the SFE editors. Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan have just as many - if not more - SF nods in their fantasies than MCN and neither of them get a mention either. Even Jack Vance's entry gives only a nod to The Dying Earth sequence as a precursor to more overt SF works using a similar setting (Book of the New Sun etc), apparently dismissing it from the SF canon due to the presence of magic.

    The SFE seems to be pretty 'purist' in its approach to entries. I recall the print fantasy encyclopedia being much more relaxed about cross-genre works.
     
  15. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Well, I guess you're right about it being purist. Perhaps in the future it'll be more open?
     
  16. Luke_B

    Luke_B Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    Remember it's only a beta, so there's content that will be added to the final release. Even after this, the site will be continually updated and improved, as far as I'm aware. I heard an interview that Clute gave in which he mentioned that the Encyclopedia of Fantasy might be bolted on at one stage. But really, given the amazing amount of content already on the site, it seems a bit ... I don't know ... petty maybe to criticise it for one or two arguably minor exclusions.
     
  17. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    But the thing is a lot of sci-fi and fantasy crosses over. If they're excluding mixed works, then that's a massive chunk of work not represented.

    I'm not criticising it as I do realise it's still a work in progress, but some sort of SFF/SFFH merger would probably work very well as all three tend to be linked in some form.
     
  18. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    I think their approach is that putting elements if fantasy into a work of SF makes it a fantasy, and thus should be covered in the encyclopedia of fantasy, not SF. The print version of the fantasy encyclopedia had a lot of terms for this kind of thing: rationalised fantasy, science fantasies etc.

    The problem is that the SFE has already had to compromise a bit: the Star Wars movies have numerous fantasy elements but are covered in the SFE. Tad Williams' Otherland series is also very much a rationalised fantasy, but due to the way it works (all of the fantasy elements happen inside a VR computer programme) it can be categorised as a work of SF (as indeed it is in the SFE, alberit with a 'coming soon' entry). So there's some squinting and handwaving going on (and what's up with the Matrix movies not having an entry at all?).

    A combined SFF encyclopedia is probably the way forwards. But it'll take years and years to get to that point :)
     
  19. symbolhunter

    symbolhunter Science-Fantasy Zealot

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    I have both the Science fiction and Fantasy encyclopedias in print editions. I love them both and use them frequently but they are very different in their approaches. IMO I feel that the Fantasy Encyclopedia is much more oriented to generalised, thematic, discursive and analytical approaches to the genre than its companion. Thus, I tend to use it differently. I enjoy seeing how a particular fantasy theme [e.g. "A thing bought at too high a cost"} is developed. I would like to see more critical analysis of that sort of thing in the Science-fiction Encyclopedia.

    Personally, I don't feel that a "purist" approach to what constitues science fiction is necessarily the more productive approach and would prefer more exploration of "cross-genre works". The problem is where to draw the line. I'm not at all sure what the answer is there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  20. Mostlyharmless

    Mostlyharmless Registered User

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