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Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Fourth Edition. Some sample entries appear below. Click here for the Introduction; here for the masthead; here for Acknowledgments; here for the FAQ; here for advice on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more details here) or browse the menu categories in the grey bar at the top of this page.

Site updated on 17 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Porges, Arthur

(1915-2006) US author and teacher of mathematics, brother of Irwin Porges; he began publishing sf with "Modeled in Clay" for Man to Man (August/September 1950), and subsequently published about 220 stories – a few as Peter Arthur, Abel Jacobi, Derek Page and Pat Rogers – without releasing any of them in book collections. Over half that output is mystery fiction and the balance fairly evenly divided between fantasy and sf. He was a strong and inventive writer, especially of fantasy; ...


(circa 125- after 180) Syrian-Greek author, known also as Lucian of Samosata; born in Samosata, capital of Commagene, in Syria (now modern Turkey). He early became an advocate and practised at Antioch, but soon set out on the travels which were to help provide the verisimilitude underlying the fantastic surface of some of his works. He visited Greece, Italy and Gaul, studied philosophy in Athens, and eventually became procurator of part of Egypt, where he died. The number of works attributed to ...

Winterbotham, Russ

(1904-1971) US newspaperman and author who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Star that Would not Behave" in Astounding for August 1935, and was a prolific contributor of Genre SF in the magazine before World War Two, becoming inactive in that sphere until the 1950s, when he again began to publish serviceable fiction. For a period in the 1940s, he created several tales for the Whitman Publishing Company (generator of the Big Little Books and other series for children), writing at ...

Travel Guides

These occasionally feature in sf, the most famous of all being Douglas Adams's comic creation The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which see) – a guide that gives little space to such minor destinations as Earth, famously listed only as "Harmless" and amended after extensive further research to "Mostly harmless". In older sf, Jack Vance makes witty use of invented guidebooks – e.g. "Popular Handbook of the Planets, 303rd edition" – for background Infodumps in his Demon ...

Reed, Amy

(?   -    ) US author of Young Adult tales set in the contemporary world, at least one of which, The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World (2019), is fantasy. She is of sf interest for Tell Me My Name (2021), which is set on a quasi-suburban Island near a Near Future Seattle struggling with social and political dysfunction as well as Climate Change. The story itself, involving complex interactions among teenagers, resonates uneasily with the larger picture. [JC]

Langford, David

(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 ...

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