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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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Freedman, Mitchell J

(1957-    ) US lawyer and author whose Alternate History novel, A Disturbance of Fate (2003), rewrites American history from 1968, the Jonbar Point being the foiling of Sirhan Sirhan's attempt to assassinate Robert F Kennedy, who becomes president (defeating Richard Nixon), ends the Vietnam War, resolves tensions between America and the USSR, and is re-elected. The book is immensely – perhaps excessively – detailed in its depiction of the Utopian world ...

Cole, Adrian

(1949-    ) UK author, most of whose books lace fantasy and horror venues with sf devices, but which in the final analysis read essentially as fantasies. He began publishing work of genre interest with "Wired Tales" for Dark Horizons #6 in Summer 1973, and several stories soon followed about a not entirely unusual Cursed Warrior named The Voidal, culminating perhaps in The Coming of the Voidal (1977 chap), and all revised, with some new content, as Oblivion Hand (coll 2001). ...


The charismatic, goddess-like female ruler – usually referred to as "She" or "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed" – in the Ayesha sequence by H Rider Haggard, opening with She: A History of Adventure (October 1886-January 1887 The Graphic; cut 1886; full text 1887). Ayesha clearly combines aspects of Aphrodite and Isis, being imperious, ravishing and potentially Immortal; but vulgarized echoes can also be detected of the primal Greek goddess Kore, the Eleusinian Demeter/Persephone dyad whose ...

Psi Powers

A name given to the full spectrum of mental powers studied by the Pseudoscience of parapsychology, and a common item of sf Terminology. In his book From Anecdote to Experiment in Psychical Research (1972), Robert Thouless claims that he and Dr B P Wiesner invented the term, prior to its use in sf circles, as being less liable to suggest a pre-existing theory than the term "Extra Sensory Perception" (or ESP). The term was adopted into sf during the "psi boom" which John W Campbell Jr promoted in ...

Zelman, Aaron

(1946-2010) US author who collaborated on two sf novels with Libertarian themes: Rebelfire: Out of the Gray Zone (2005) with Claire Wolfe and Hope (2008) with L Neil Smith. He should not be confused with the television producer Aaron Zelman (1973-    ). [JC]

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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