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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 23 May 2022
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For the science fiction genre, bibliography is the other arm of criticism: how the field records its own history. The word bibliography means different things to different readers. Science fiction bibliography encompasses both the enumerative style (what was published, when, and where) and the descriptive style (physical description of the books of a single author or press). Compiling checklists and bibliographies has always been a labour of love, very often carried out by fans or sometimes by ...

Swigart, Rob

Working name of US author and academic Eugene Robison Swigart (1941-    ), whose novels, from Little America (1977) on, have been Fabulations composed in a flamboyantly brisk gonzo style through which, like Kurt Vonnegut, comprise a series of deadpan riffs on the extremities of America. Though not making up a series, his first four novels – Little America (1977), A.K.A.: A Cosmic Fable (1978), The Time Trip (1979) and The Book of Revelations (1981) – convey a ...


Role Playing Game (2015). Wordplay Games. Written by Paul Mitchener, based on the Wordplay game system by Graham Spearing. / Small Press Horror in SF roleplaying game that mines the transition of the gritty, pessimistic tenor (see Optimism and Pessimism) of the UK-specific Scientific Romance to the mainstream of Television and Cinema in the wake of World War Two. / Giant, beetle-like Aliens dubbed "Scarabs" destroy earth's twelve most populous Cities in the autumn of 1951, fortifying ...

Marshall, Luther

(?   -?   ) US author of Thomas Boobig: A Complete Enough Account of his Life and Singular Disappearance: Narration of his Scribe (1895), an sf novel depicting – perhaps for the first time – a genuine Superman, the eponymous Boobig who is born of natural size but soon grows into a mental and physical giant (see Great and Small). His great good temper seems to ensure that his influence on his native California as a Paul Bunyan-like entrepreneur are ...

Bartter, Martha A

(1932-2013) US critic, editor and author, a lifetime member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, now most well known for her scholarship and teaching. / As M A Bartter, she published a handful of early short stories beginning with "The Eggs of Eden" (December 1974 Galaxy) and also including "Be Ye Perfect" (January 1975 Galaxy) and "The Wallad Blond" (March 1977 Galaxy), but later became much more active in criticism. She finished a PhD in English from the University of ...

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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