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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 8 August 2022
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Francis, Richard H

Working name of UK author and academic Richard Francis (1945-    ), who added a fictitious "H" to distinguish himself from Dick Francis, the thriller writer. His first novel, Blackpool Vanishes (1979), tells the quirky, extremely English story of what happens when microscopic Aliens kidnap the town of Blackpool. In Whispering Gallery (1984) the Invention of a link between bacteria and viruses becomes complicated when it turns out that the new strain can serve – ...

Ryder, James

Pseudonym of UK author James Pattinson (1915-2009), a merchant-navy gunner during World War Two; his more than 100 novels are mostly thrillers under his own name, many with naval settings. His sf adventures for Robert Hale Limited are Kark (1969), set in a Near Future authoritarian Dystopian state of Britain against which the protagonist rebels, and Vicious Spiral (1976), featuring Time Travel from the twelfth millennium with the intention of killing Adolf Hitler. [JC/DRL]

Kerruish, Jessie Douglas

(1884-1949) UK author, initially of romances with fantasy elements [see also The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], and also of numerous short stories from around 1910, several of them assembled later as Babylonian Nights' Entertainment: A Selection of Narratives from the Text of Certain Undiscovered Cuneiform Tablets (coll 1934). Of some sf interest is her Werewolf tale, The Undying Monster: A Tale of the Fifth Dimension (1922), which provides a semblance of scientific rationale for ...

Sturgeon's Law

An aphorism formulated by Theodore Sturgeon in the early 1950s: "Ninety percent of everything is crud." This needs to be placed in context as his response to blanket condemnations of sf which were based on the worst examples of the genre. According to James Gunn, Sturgeon's Law originated in a Sturgeon talk at the 1953 Worldcon, and was phrased approximately as follows: "Ninety percent of science fiction is crud. But then ninety percent of everything is crud, and it's the ten percent that isn't ...

Transhuman Space

Role Playing Game (2002). Steve Jackson Games (SJG). Designed by David Pulver. / Transhuman Space uses an adapted version of the GURPS mechanics to depict a richly realized twenty-second century in which humanity has colonized the solar system, while simultaneously splintering into multiple sub-species which have been variously improved or adapted to extraterrestrial environments (see Pantropy). Nonhuman intelligences such as partially mechanical "bioroids", Uplifted animals and self-aware ...

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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