Welcome to the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls (emeritus) and Graham Sleight (managing). All the more than 18,000 entries are free to read online; samples appear below. Click here for the Introduction and more on the text; here for Frequently Asked Questions; here for Advice to Students on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more on searching here) or browse the menu categories to the right of the SFE logo. To see what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming / Citation button at the top of the entry.


Wendig, Chuck

Tagged: Game | Comics | Author

(1976-    ) Working name of US Role Playing Game developer, Comics writer, screenwriter and author Charles David Wendig (1976-    ), who also signs as C D Wendig, under which form of his name he published his first work of genre interest, "Bourbon Street Lullaby" in Not One of Us for September 1997. His work as a whole [selectively presented in Checklist below] tends to shuffle genres, without necessarily examining or taking advantage of the perspectives created. Most of his fiction consists of series, like Tomes of the Dead: Coburn sequence beginning with Double Dead (2011), which features Zombies, or the Miriam Black sequence beginning with Blackbirds (2012), whose protagonist has the ESP...

Besher, Alexander

Tagged: Author | Editor

(1951-    ) China-born Japanese-raised US editor, who published David Lindsay's posthumous tales The Violet Apple; And, the Witch (1976) in his Chicago Review Press, and who began to publish sf in English (some stories had appeared in Japanese) with his Rim cycle, comprising Rim: A Novel of Virtual Reality (1994), Mir: A Novel of Virtual Reality (1998) and Chi (1999). The first of these is perhaps the most innovative – Brian Stableford has used a term of his own coinage, Orphean Fantasy, to describe the tale's conflation of Virtual Reality (see also Cyberspace) and the classic Underworld, and the immersive descent of its protagonist into a realm where (as in most Posthumous Fantasies) he mus...

Langford, David

Tagged: Author | Editor | Fan | Critic

(1953-    ) UK author, critic, editor, publisher and sf fan, in the latter capacity recipient of 21 Hugo awards for fan writing – some of the best of his several hundred pieces are assembled as Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (coll 1992 chap US; much exp vt The Silence of the Langford 1996; exp 2015 ebook) as Dave Langford, edited by Ben Yalow – plus five Best Fanzine Hugos and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one fiction Hugo is for "Different Kinds of Darkness" (January 2000 F&SF) as best short story.After some appearances in the Amateur Magazine SFinx (from 1972) Langford began to publish sf professionally with "Heatwave" for New Writings i...

Quantum Computers

Tagged: Theme

A still largely theoretical but eagerly researched breed of Computers which use quantum superposition to deal simultaneously with all possible values which can be represented as "qubits" (quantum bits, as opposed to conventional computer bits representing 0 or 1) in a quantum register. Experimental devices with small numbers of qubits have been tested; if workable on a larger scale, the technology should be capable of processing speeds vastly greater than normal computers, potentially solving now-uncomputable problems such as the strongest current encryption. In sf, quantum computers provide a convenient shorthand for the kind of extraordinary computing power that may be required to sustain...

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