The Encyclopedia: It Lives!

Some wonderful news arrived in my email inbox while I was writing that last post. It was a press release from Gollancz committing them to publication of the third edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia. As you probably know, this will be an online edition, with the text being available free to all. (There may well be enhanced aspects of the encyclopedia that are available for a modest subscription, but the press release clearly says “text available free”.)

I’m sure that this will be a great relief to my good friends John Clute and Dave Langford, who have been laboring mightily over this for many years. Considerable credit is due to Graham Sleight who took on the business management end of the enterprise, and to John and Pamela Lifton-Zoline who provided invaluable support.

The job isn’t done yet. At the official launch later this year the “beta edition” will contain over 3 million words, but it won’t be complete. Further entries will be added through 2012. And then of course there will be the ongoing task of updating the entries. Sisyphus, I suspect, has it easy in comparison.

Anyway, congratulations to John, Dave, Graham and everyone else involved. I can’t wait to have the text my fingertips.

Um, fantasy edition next boys…