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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 27 June 2022
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Banks, Iain M

(1954-2013) Scottish author who published fiction for the general market as Iain Banks, and works aimed more directly at sf readers as Iain M Banks. Although differences in register can be detected between the two forms of his name, as a whole Banks's work is more usefully thought of as ranging through a wide spectrum, rather than as bifurcating into two separate categories. As in the case of Graham Greene's "real novels" and what he called "Entertainments", the distinction between the two ...

Carrel, Frederic

(1859-1945) UK author whose portrait of Frank Harris in an early novel, The Adventures of John Johns (1897), has been a source of misinformation about Harris for more than a century. Paul le Maistre (1901) is not sf, the invention at the heart of the book being a better plough; on the other hand, the Inventions of the Antihero ruler of an ambivalently Utopian Europe in 2010 (1914) are genuinely sf, though fitted within a narrative frame whose exorbitance has reasonably been understood as ...

Polidori, John

(1795-1821) UK medical doctor who became the personal physician of Lord Byron (see Icons) in 1816; as an author his work is of more interest to the fantastic in general [for fuller entry on Polidori see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] than for its relevance to anything like sf. He is of interest initially for his participation – along with Bryon, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley – in an evening gathering in 1916 at Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva, where they had ...

Allston, Aaron

(1960-2014) US author and Role Playing Game designer who published many nonfiction pieces in this area, was editor of Space Gamer magazine 1982-1983, and co-designed the games Justice, Inc (1984) and The Savage Empire (1990) (see Worlds of Ultima). Several though not all of his novels are tied to the Star Wars universe [see Checklist below]; his first novel, Web of Danger (1988 dos), ties sf tropes into an espionage thriller frame; other tales of interest include Double Jeopardy (1994), an sf ...

Williams, Francis T Perry

(?   -    ) US actor (active during the 1980s) and author whose sf novel, Pollen and the Ring of Harmony (2008; rev 2009), describes the arrival on Earth of an Alien who attempts to change the minds of Homo sapiens and cure them of the delusion that Climate Change is not destroying their habitat. An Asteroid is also due to impact the planet. Tragically his ring, which brings only good, is stolen by the American government. The plot revolves around attempts to ...

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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