The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

The short version of this post: we’ve put all 1.2m words The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) online along with The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. We hope you enjoy it. (And if you do, you might want to donate to support us.)

The longer version… The Encyclopedia of Fantasy was edited in the 1990s by John Clute and John Grant. It’s resided for a while in the same electronic format as the Sf Encyclopedia. As we updated the Sf Encyclopedia, we became aware that in several places there were overlaps between the two. (Tolkien, for instance, is surely much better thought of as a fantasy than an sf writer.) There were also cross-references between the two that we had to leave un-linked, and that nagged… So, with the kind permission of editors Clute and Grant, our technical magus David Langford set about seeing if that could be resolved.

The current implementation is thanks to an enormous amount of work from David. The FE has been added to the site in much the same way as the SFE: one entry per page, with the usual facilities to go to next/previous entries etc. Probably the best place to start is the introduction to the online edition. You can also browse a list of all entries, or just of entries by category (for instance, author, artist, theme…) You’ll see the usual search box in the right-hand sidebar. Cross-references between the SFE and FE should now work smoothly, but please contact us if you see any that don’t.

We are not updating the Fantasy Encyclopedia, at least for the moment. Getting the Sf Encyclopedia complete and accurate remains our priority. Of course, if someone wants to pay us $millions to do so, then we’re happy to talk about the idea… But for the moment, the Fantasy Encyclopedia has to be understood as being accurate up to 1997 and no further. (A few subsequent death-dates have been added.) You’ll also notice also that FE author entries don’t have the bibliographic checklists that SFE entries do.

Anyway, we all hope that you find this extra 1.2m words a useful reference. As ever, if you’d like to support us/thank us, we’d welcome any donations you might care to make.

Meanwhile, the Sf Encyclopedia has now exceeded 3.8m words. It also now has twice as many entries as the CD-Rom second edition, and new additions continue. Speaking of which, there’s an entry I have to go and write…


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12 responses to “The Encyclopedia of Fantasy

  1. Pingback: The Encyclopedia of Fantasy Online | Cheryl's Mewsings

  2. Matt

    That’s great! Thanks for making it available on-line.

    That said, I wonder if you can’t think about integrating the two encyclopedias over the long term. There’s a heavy overlap in the two genres (to the point where many don’t distinguish them), including both in themes and authors, reflected in the fact that they’re nearly always shelved together in bookstores–something not true of other genres that are related, horror and superheroes probably being the two closest.

  3. Pingback: The Encyclopedia of Fantasy | Space of entropy

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  5. Lee Mendham

    Although it may take a while, I would definitely recommend reviving the EoF as a going concern at some stage.True, it would take time, money and probably extra personnel, but what doesn’t? If a thing’s worth doing…

  6. There does not seem to be a link to the _Encyclopaedia of Fantasy_ on the home page of the _Encyclopaedia opf Science Fiction_ in which it resides… (unless I missed it).

    (And if you type in ‘encyclopaedia of fantasy’ in the _Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction_ search box that does not get you to the _EoF_.)

    Just a thought.


    • Lee Mendham

      There is a link – albeit too small and easily overlooked – on the homepage, right next to where it says “RSS feed”. And both Encyclopedias are spelt with an “e” not an “ae”, though probably the alternate spelling should be included for search purposes.

  7. Phil Friel

    Wow! Many thanks for this, and thanks to David for all his hard work. As someone who has the classic 90’s hardcover editions of both encyclopedias, it’s a great thing to see the EoF online as well. I agree with Matt – I would definitely be a big fan of integrating the EoF with the EoSF (an all-encompassing EoSF&F) at some point, although I’m fully aware that the contributors have their hands completely full at the moment with the EoSF. This would make a truly remarkable resource, and should be easier to maintain and update than two separate encyclopedias. I’d pay a dollar or two for that! 🙂

  8. I bought the hardcover back when it first came out and always wished that it would be put onto CD-Rom to match the SF Encyclopedia. Fifteen years later I get something that’s close enough to it. Thankyou VERY much for adding it.
    Once some savvy person in the Lotteries Commission gives you a spare $100k somebody should convince Manguel & Guadalupi that their wonderfully illustrated Dictionary of Imaginary Places would fit in so well with this site too…

  9. Phil Friel

    Hey guys, it looks like a bunch of spam comments have sneaked past your spam filters (the nine comments before this one), a lot of it coming from Youtube accounts. Lots of garbage, all of it absolutely nothing to do with either the Encyclopedia of Fantasy or the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. You should delete these pests and set your spam filters to block them. Better still, set all replies to moderation. Genuine replies get through, spammers don’t even get on the boards.

    • Thanks, Phil. Spam cleared, comments set to moderation-only….

      • Phil Friel

        Graham, unfortunately that’s probably the only way to keep those spamming jerks off the site. Usually the excellent Askimet does a great job, but it seems to be missing out in this case (unless you don’t have it activitated?). I know that the moderation means a bit of extra work on your part, but it can’t be helped. This place is too important to let the spammers mess up with their junk.

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