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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 15 August 2022
Sponsor of the day: John Howard

Howitt, William

(1792-1879) UK author, married to Mary Howitt (1799-1888) who was the first translator of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. He wrote several tales classifiable as fantasies; Pantika: Or, Traditions of the Most Ancient Times (coll 1835 2vols) assembles several of these, including "Nichar, the Exile of Heaven", which describes a Fantastic Voyage through the solar system, as recounted by a fallen angel. [JC]


UK tv serial (1979; vt The Quatermass Conclusion). Euston Films/ITV. Produced by Ted Childs. Directed by Piers Haggard. Written Nigel Kneale. Cast includes Simon MacCorkindale, John Mills and Rebecca Saire. Four 60-minute episodes. Colour. Version for film release (but receiving general release only on videotape) titled The Quatermass Conclusion, 102 minutes. / This fourth and weakest of the Quatermass television serials (see below for details of the others) was written in the late 1960s ...

Star Trek: Insurrection

Film (1998). Paramount. Directed by Jonathan Frakes. Written by Michael Piller; story Rick Berman & Piller. Cast includes F Murray Abraham, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Frakes, Gates McFadden, Donna Murphy, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart. 103 minutes. Colour. / A utopian world with a fountain of youth is targeted by the Federation for appropriation at the expense of the resident population, who turn out to be post-technological and thus undefended by Prime Directive; the ...

Architectural Metaphor

US space-rock band whose pretentious name well suits the ramblingly overweening sf stylings of their albums. On Studio Galacti (1994) and Creature of the Velvet Void (1997) swirling synthesizers and elaborately played guitars do little to enliven various pulpish Genre SF Clichés. [AR] see also: SF Music. / links / Architectural Metaphor


Throughout its history, from its Proto SF origins until well into the twentieth century, sf has had a close and complex involvement with the themes of colonialism and empire. It is indeed a relationship so intimate and accustomed that it has not evoked sufficient attention as a separate issue; early editions of this encyclopedia, for instance, had no entry on the subject, though germane comments could be found dispersed throughout the text, often associated in one way or another with ...

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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