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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.

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Ayckbourn, Alan

(1939-    ) UK playwright, active from 1959 with at least eighty-five plays produced; much of his work verges into Fantastika, some of which is of strong specific sf interest, including a triad of dramas which might almost (but not quite) be thought of as a loose series devoted to Androids in distressed English domestic environments. Henceforward (performed 1987; 1988) is set in an oppressive Near Future where a blocked composer uses his personal Robot to reshape his bad ...

Mad Max 2

Film (1981; vt The Road Warrior). Kennedy Miller Entertainment. Directed by George Miller. Written by Terry Hayes, Miller, Brian Hannant. Cast includes Mel Gibson, Emil Minty, Kjell Nilsson, Mike Preston and Bruce Spence. 96 minutes. Colour. / The success of the first film in this series, Mad Max (1979), generated a bigger budget for this, the second. It was well used, and this is a more sophisticated film, more purely sf than its predecessor. The oil wars have left a devastated Ruined ...

Orwell, George

Pseudonym of Indian-born UK author Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), briefly but intensely in the early 1940s the partner of Inez Holden; much of his best work was contained in his impassioned journalism and essays, assembled in the four volumes of The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell (each coll 1968). His fiction and extended social criticism, as in Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), also demonstrates his general good sense and the intense clarity of his mind. Two ...

Continuous Creation

Now relegated to Imaginary Science, this was an essential axiom of the Steady State Universe Cosmology which was proposed in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle but increasingly superseded by the rival Big Bang theory (see George Gamow) since the late 1960s. The notion of an expanding yet essentially unchanging universe required the spontaneous creation of new atoms – hydrogen isotopes and other light elements – in tiny but cosmically significant quantities. E E Smith ...

Wilkes, Marilyn Z

(?   -    ) US author of the C.L.U.T.Z. sequence of sf tales for the youngest of Young Adult readers, beginning with C.L.U.T.Z. (1982). The titular acronym stands for Combined Level Unit Type Z, and is the name of an obsolescent Robot who befriends and is befriended by the young protagonist in the distant Near Future. Hi-jinks ensue. [JC]

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...



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