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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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Powered Armour

A now familiar device in (especially) Military SF, the most famous example being the Mobile Infantry armour described in great and plausible detail by Robert A Heinlein in Starship Troopers (October-November 1959 F&SF as "Starship Soldier"; 1959); this includes a jet pack for Flying. Heinlein's influence helped shape the Japanese sf trope of Mecha (which see), which often expands the machinery to gigantic scale in the form of piloted Robots. The sensors, servo-mechanisms and feedback loops ...

Fearing, Kenneth

(1902-1961) US poet and author, who supported himself in early years in part by writing softcore pornography as by Kirk Wolff, and whose early renown as a poet faded perceptibly even before his death; he is now known mainly for mysteries like The Big Clock (1946), a tale whose atmosphere adumbrates the film-noir tonality of later US fantasy. Fearing's only sf novel proper is Clark Gifford's Body (1942), which gravely and literately portrays a Near-Future US civil war, its thirty point-of-view ...

Web and Starship

Board and counter Wargame (1984). West End Games (WEG). Designed by Greg Costikyan. / Web and Starship is a Hard SF Wargame played on a two-dimensional map of nearby stars, with the third dimension represented by notations on the display. The setting is asymmetric; there are three players, each of whom has different capabilities. The Pereen can travel between stars by means of an instantaneous "Web", but must use slower-than-light probes to add new planets to the network, while the ...

Dexter, William

Pseudonym of UK author William Thomas Pritchard (1906-1985), whose two sf novels make up the short Denis Grafton series, in which concerns about the End of the World through nuclear World War Three are articulated, fairly incoherently, via a metaphysical Space Opera plot. In World of Eclipse (1954), after life on Earth has been eliminated by a "thorium" bomb, a few humans who had been kept for observation on the planet of the Vulcanids begin to repopulate a devastated Earth; but nothing is ...

Furnill, John

(?   -?   ) UK author of whom nothing is known beyond his Future War tale, Culmination (1932), in which the consequences of applying a device designed to communicate with the dead lead to Disaster. [JC]

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...



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