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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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See the historical note at the end of this entry. / Without attempting a comprehensive Definition of SF, one may safely say that most sf stories and novels present an imaginary record of the human condition at some future time and, further, that the events recorded are usually of an epic dimension, either overtly or by implication. That is, that even when the protagonists are not of heroic stature they inhabit a landscape differing from our own in historically significant ways. At the ...

Nawaz, Saleema

(1979-    ) Canadian author, active from around 2000; her second novel, Songs for the End of the World (2020), whose protagonists – one the author of a novel about a deadly plague – react variously in the very Near Future as a Pandemic begins to spread, soon infecting New York. Much detail is provided. The outcome is uncertain. [JC]

Collins, Helen

(1937-    ) US biologist, teacher and author whose loose Genesis sequence contains two thematically linked volumes to date. The first, Mutagenesis (1993; rev MutaGenesis 2011), packs a wide range of material into its moderate compass. After recovering from a Long Night caused by Ecological devastation, an expedition from Earth rediscovers an old colony planet, where some original plant species still survive as well as a strangely-evolved human, in which women are required to ...

Kerr, Philip

(1956-2018) Scottish author, married to Jane Thynne (see C J Carey) until his death, who first came to notice for his Bernard Gunther sequence, the first volumes of which – beginning with March Violets (1989) – are police procedurals set in pre-World War Two Berlin, but which move into occult territory after Gunther has survived the war. Much of his later work is of direct sf interest, beginning with A Philosophical Investigation (1992), perhaps his most impressive single novel; it ...

Wehrstein, Karen

(1961-    ) Canadian author who began publishing work of genre interest with "O.R.3" in Shivers: Canadian Tales of the Supernatural (anth 1990) edited by Greg Ioannou and Lynne Missen. She has contributed three titles to Fifth Millenium, a Shared World fantasy sequence devised and controlled by S M Stirling (for titles see Checklist). [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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