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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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There is a false belief that sf and humour do not mix. Certainly sf has produced many bad jokes – Arthur C Clarke's Tales From the White Hart (coll of linked stories 1957) is entirely devoted to them – but from the beginning it has also produced many good ones. Much sf humour takes the form of social Satire, and stories of this kind are discussed mainly in that entry. While the discussion below naturally includes satires also, it focuses on sf that elicits laughter rather than a wry ...

Luckhurst, Roger

(1967-    ) UK academic and author who brings a wide armamentarium of lucidly deposed critical and cultural theory to the study of sf, which he defines – or restricts for his purposes – as becoming a cluster of modalities of strong interest toward the end of the nineteenth century, when "discourses" of modernism and sf begin inchoately to take shape and shape each other (see Identity; Modernism in SF). Science Fiction (2005), his cogently argumentative (and ...

Spencer, John

(1944-2002) UK author, rock musician and one-time art-agency director, founding what would become Young Artists, a major UK agency for preponderantly sf/fantasy artists. His first sf novel, The Electronic Lullaby Meat Market (1975), in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Mick Farren, sets a quirky thriller in a violently hyperbolic Near-Future world described in sex-charged terms reminiscent of the late-1960s counterculture. After editing Echoes of Terror (anth 1980 chap) with Mike Jarvis, Spencer ...

Lewitt, S N

(1954-    ) US author; the initial N in her name stands for "Nothing"; she variously signs her works as given as the headword above, and as both Shariann Lewitt and Shariann N Lewitt; pseudonyms include Rick North and Gordon Kendall (see below). Lewitt began publishing work of genre interest with "St Joey the Action" in Perpetual Light (anth 1982) edited by Alan Ryan; after First and Final Rites (1984), a fantasy novel published as by Shariann Lewitt, she released the first ...

Ralli, Constantine

(1854-1934) UK author, who changed his name to Constantine Scaramanga-Ralli by Royal Licence in 1910, after publishing his only sf novel, Vanessa: A Romance of the New Century and the New World (1904), which is set in a Near Future New York controlled by a tiny oligarchy; the masses soon revolt. [JC]

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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