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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 25 November 2022
Sponsor of the day: Joe Haldeman


In this encyclopedia the term "airship" is generally used for powered lighter-than-air craft extrapolated from dirigible Balloons and employed as Transportation. However, it seems reasonable also to mention the winged but machine-driven Consolidator featured in Daniel Defoe's The Consolidator (1705), which was soon forgotten, like all Chinese Inventions, ...

Chappell, Fred

(1936-    ) US academic, poet and author, most of whose work within the water margins of Fantastika adheres to the broad remit of the weird, though his best-known novel Dagon (1968) carries its doomed protagonist into the sway of an idiot deity whose gaze – "the god was omnipotent but did not possess intelligence" – constitutes a prolepsis of things to come (see Cthulhu Mythos; ...

Sarac, Roger

Pseudonym of US photographer, motion-picture executive, broadcaster and author Roger Andrew Caras (1928-2001), prolific author of nonfiction on the environment and animals in the wild, all under his own name; as Sarac, he wrote an sf novel, The Throwbacks (1965), about genetic throwbacks (see Apes as Human; Devolution) who are seen as a threat to humans until they are given sanctuary. [JC]

Beck, Alan F

(1944-    ) US artist best known for his wryly humorous, usually small paintings, prints and originals of which are hugely popular at conventions; he has done relatively little Illustration work, mainly for the magazine Space and Time, although there are also some book covers, the first being for the Fantasy Pine Tree Wind (2002) by A L Neff. He received his art ...

Roth, Philip

(1933-2018) US author, along with Thomas Pynchon the most influential writer of his generation still active well into the twenty-first century; he is probably still best known for Portnoy's Complaint (1969), a novel whose sophisticated and often comic treatment of the freedoms and imprisonments of Sex is fantastically furthered (see Fabulation) in The Breast (1972), in which a ...

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 ...

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