The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

I bought the The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2nd edition) on in November 1993, when it first came out. It retailed for $75 and I got it for 10% off. It’s a passive massive book, 1,200 pages of fine print and totaling more than 1.3 million words.

I mentioned it earlier today. I was browsing it last night to get ideas for something to read. I lugged it on the train with me this morning and read the introductory sections, themselves fascinating. They included a description for how the book was organized, how the data was collected, and rationale for changes made since the first edition.

On the train ride home, I pulled the massive, 5-1/2 pound book out again, and on a whim, started reading the entries beginning with “A”. It was wonderful. Every entry was fascinating. The print is so small that I only got through about three pages, but I was utterly captured by it. Wow! Who knew!

I’m not saying I’m going to sit down and read The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction cover-to-cover. But it is certainly very entertaining and educating reading so far, and since nothing else has piqued my curiosity lately, I don’t see any reason to stop.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.