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I keep forgetting to mention that, thanks to this clever technology thing and the expertise of David Langford, the text of John Clute's and my The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) is now available online in searchable form. Here's the place to go.

I should stress that it's a 1997 text (with a few revisions up to 1999). More recent developments aren't covered -- although very many of them are treated in the new, massive, online, bogglingly huge version of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

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One of the lesser known but perhaps more important projects underway in sf at the moment is the preparation of the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, this time under the editorship of Peter Nicholls, John Clute and David Langford. The new edition, which is already approaching twice the wordcount of the second edition (to which I devoted several years of my life), is to be an online publication; I'm not certain of the proposed publication date, and I'm not sure anyone yet is.

What I do know, though, is that a couple of weeks ago I was approached by Clute and Langford with the commission to write the art/illustration strand of the new encyclopedia, and you can bet that -- honoured and flattered like you wouldn't believe -- I accepted with some alacrity. When we were putting together the second edition this was something I could not have done: my knowledge of f/sf art was in those days pretty woeful, despite the efforts of artist close friends like Ron Tiner to enlighten me. Since then, of course, I've had the powerful education of running Paper Tiger for a few years.

So, if you're an extensively published sf artist, expect sometime in the new year to be getting a questionnaire from me; if you're not an artist, well, I'll probably corner you in a bar somewhere and weep on your shoulder about the travails of dealing with artists. "They're not like us, you know . . ."

More seriously, this is going to be a joy. I'm almost nervous of getting started on it.

March 2013

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