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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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Absurdist SF

The word "absurdist" became fashionable as a literary term after its consistent use by the French author and essayist Albert Camus (1913-1960) to describe fictions set in worlds where we seem at the mercy of incomprehensible systems. These systems may work as metaphors of the human mind – outward manifestations of what J G Ballard means when he uses the term Inner Space – or they may work as representations of a cruelly arbitrary external world, in which our expectations of rational ...

Romero, John

(1967-    ) US Game designer whose first published work was Scout Search (1984 Capitol Ideas Software, AppleII), a simple two-dimensional game in which the player must protect cub scouts from a grizzly bear. His fame, however, rests on the early games developed by id Software, the company he founded in 1991 with the artist Adrian Carmack, the game designer Tom Hall and the highly talented computer programmer John Carmack (who was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts ...

Stables, Gordon

(1840-1910) Scottish medical doctor and author of children's fiction, writing well over a hundred novels, primarily for boys; he served as surgeon on a whaling boat and later with the Royal Navy until 1875; some of his books were signed Dr Gordon Stables, RN, and some others were signed W Gordon-Stables or W Gordon Stables, MD, RN. He wrote extensively for the Boys' Papers, including The Boy's Own Paper, where he published many Fantastic Voyages in competition with the serials of Jules Verne; ...

Thomas, Rob

(1965-    ) US author responsible for three Ties to the X-Files universe in the Shared World X-Files Young Adults Series, beginning with Control (1997) as by Everett Owens. Under his own name, his Young Adult tale Green Thumb (1999) features a young protagonist who discovers, while spending his summer vacation, that the intertwined trees of the tropical rain forest are able to communicate with one another. At the same time, a plot to Poison the jungle through invasive ...

Sapiro, Leland

(1924-2013) US critic and Fanzine editor, active in Fandom since 1962. He is best known for editing and publishing Riverside Quarterly (which see), which ran from 1964 to 1993 and whose content leant towards that of an Academic Journal. Most of Sapiro's critical writing, under his own name and his occasional pseudonym Yogi Borel, was published in this venue; an early example was the serialized essay "The Faustus Tradition in the Early Science Fiction Story" (August 1964-February 1965 Riverside ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...



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