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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 8 August 2022
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Gotthelf, Ezra Gerson

(1907-1981) US rabbi and author, whose sf Satire, The Island of Not-Me: A True Chronicle of the Life of Geoghan Willbe on The Island of Not-Me, Preceded by an Account of his Person Before his Arrival Upon that Famous Isle (1935), places on an Island a Utopia with totalitarian characteristic. It is written in a style distantly evocative of Jonathan Swift. [JC]

Ray Gun

This generic energy Weapon, usually hand-held, is one of the best-known sf Clichés which became established in the Pulp magazine era; hence the Retro-Pulp magazine title Ray Gun Revival. The term seems to have been coined by Victor Rousseau in The Messiah of the Cylinder (June-September 1917 Everybody's Magazine; 1917; vt The Apostle of the Cylinder 1918), whose magazine serialization includes this passage: / All is not going well, Arnold: the ray-rods are emptying fast, and ...

Seaborn, Adam

Pseudonym of the unidentified author of the well-written Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery (1820), which sets a Utopia inside a Hollow Earth, and which contains some good-tempered Satire of America aboveground. Some commentators – including J O Bailey, who edited a 1965 facsimile edition of the original text – have assumed Seaborn to have been Captain John Cleves Symmes, whose hollow-earth theories are exploited in the book, and who see for further discussion. It is the case, however, ...

Czolgosz, W Bill

(1970-    ) Canadian author of an Alternate World mashup, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim (2009) as with Mark Twain, in which Black slaves in early nineteenth century America are replaced with Zombies, here called baggers. Czolgosz's attempts to colonize Twain's story, with its ominous wit and astonishingly accurate rendering of several dialects of American English, are not marked by huge success. [JC]

Millers, Reinhold

(?   -    ) US author of a metaphysical sf tale, Time Exile (1972), whose protagonist is exiled to a tiny Island for thousands of years, until a "Time Patrol" (see Time Police) comes upon him. [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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