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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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Videogame (1985). Novagen Software (NS). Designed by Paul Woakes. Platforms: Atari8, C64 (1985); Amstrad, Spectrum (1987); Amiga, AtariST (1988). / While it is of primarily historical interest today, Mercenary is notable as an early example of a modular plot structure (see Interactive Narrative) in which the player has considerable freedom of action within clearly defined boundaries, an approach used in such later games as Wasteland (1988) and Fallout (1997). The player adopts the role of ...

Mariner, Scott

Pseudonym used by C M Kornbluth and Frederik Pohl in collaboration on the story "An Old Neptunian Custom" (August 1942 Super Science Stories). [PN]

Eschbach, Andreas

(1959-    ) German author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Dolls" for c't in 1991, and whose first novel, Die Haarteppichknüpfer (1995; trans Doryl Jensen as The Carpet Makers 2005), intriguingly rewrites the normally expansive forms of American Planetary Romance and Space Opera into a bleak, compulsively storyable ideogram of the universe as prison: the carpets made by the titular carpet makers across the galaxy are aesthetically dead Entropic parodies ...

Waitman, Katie

Working name of US author Katherine Lura Waitman (1956-    ), whose first novel, The Merro Tree (1997), though set in a Space Opera galaxy, intriguingly focuses on the struggle of a performance artist (see Arts) to exercise his high craft freely, and to achieve happiness in a same-sex but inter-species romance (see Sex). Waitman sets the tale in Planetary Romance venues, which she inhabits and embroiders with considerable skill. The Merro Tree won the Compton Crook/Stephen ...

King, Stephen

(1947-    ) US author, in the context of this encyclopedia of greatest interest as a central creator of Horror in SF, though he is perhaps most famous for his supernatural horror. With over 300 million books in print in a career that only effectively began in 1974, the example of his success, along with that of Dean Koontz, revolutionized the horror-fiction business, though the feverish over-expansion of horror as a market up to around 1990, and its subsequent deflation, ...

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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