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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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Eakins, William

(1944-    ) US civil servant who specialized in environmental health issues, and author of Key West, 2720 A.D. (1989), a novel set in Florida in a gay context (see Gender; Sex); this life is threatened. Eakins should not be confused with the short-fiction author William R Eakin (see Neverworlds). [JC]

Stevenson, Burton

(1872-1962) US journalist, librarian, anthologist and author, some of whose work is of some interest, including The Gloved Hand (1913), whose supernatural elements are revealed to be stage machinery, and A King in Babylon (1917), a Lost Race tale. Of more direct sf interest is The Destroyer: A Tale of International Intrigue (1913), in which a French battleship is mysteriously destroyed through the Invention of a naive Scientist, a broadcast Ray which explodes ammunition at a distance. He is ...

Narlikar, Jayant V

(1938-    ) Indian mathematician and astrophysicist who was tutored by and was eventually a colleague of Sir Fred Hoyle, with whom he developed what became known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory of Gravity in what termed out to be a doomed effort to reconcile the physics of gravity with the steady-state model of the universe – as opposed to the Big Bang theory (see Cosmology) now more or less universally accepted – that he adhered to in agreement with Hoyle. His ...

Venning, Hugh

Pseudonym of Egyptian-born author Claude van Zeller (1905-1984), apparently in the UK from an early age, whose The End: A Projection, Not a Prophecy (1947) envisages, in 2050 CE, a Dystopian (though scientifically advanced) England surrounded by a worse world under the dominion of 666, who rules the Greater Roman Empire and is defeated at the last moment (Venning had become a Benedictine monk in 1934) by the hosts of the Lord. [JC]

Club Story

1. Assemblages of tales told within an enabling frame-story to a group of companions in a sheltered venue were not always known as club stories, a term of nineteenth-century provenance that does not, perhaps, very adequately encompass (for instance) the implications of Odysseus's narrating most of the events of The Odyssey (circa 700 BCE) (see Homer) over dinner, or of the Decameron (finished circa 1372) by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) or the Canterbury Tales (written before 1400) by Geoffrey ...

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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