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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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A frequent shorthand in sf/fantasy Terminology for tales whose outcome is controlled, and whose characters are usually weighed in the balance, by a god-like figure. The term was coined by John Fowles to describe the scenario of The Magus (1965; rev 1977), whose working title was in fact «The Godgame». His magus-figure Conchis ensnares the young narrator in a maze of delusive scenes that challenge Perception; a kind of manipulated Pocket Universe which can be escaped only when ...

Far Future

The dutch sociologist and historian Fred Polak (1907-1985), in De toekomst is verleden tijd ["The Future Is Past Time"] (1955 2vols; trans Elise Boulding as The Image of the Future 1961 2vols; trans cut 1973), identifies two distinct categories of images of the distant future, which he calls the "future of prophecy" and the "future of destiny". Prophets, although they refer to the future, are primarily concerned with the present: they issue warnings about the consequences of present actions and ...

Craig, Alexander

(?   -?   ) Author of the Lost Race novel Ionia: Land of Wise Men and Fair Women (1898). Ionia is a singularly self-satisfied Greek civilization hidden in the Himalayas, boasting advanced aircraft, prohibition, mandatory Eugenics (sterilizations are frequent) and communism (and no Jews: as they were quarrelsome, they have all been exterminated). Craig is not to be confused with Alexander George Craig (1897-?   ), author of The Voice of Merlin (1946) ...

Boot, Andy

(?   -    ) Author who under the House Name James Axler has contributed several later volumes to the very lengthy Deathlands sequence of Ruined Earth sf, discussed in more detail in the entry for James Axler. Boot has also published fantasy. [DRL]

Wang Lixiong

(1953-    ) Chinese political activist and author, whose sole genre novel to date was banned in the People's Republic but widely read among overseas Chinese. The son of a screenwriter and the vice-president of an automobile factory, Wang was exiled to the Chinese countryside from 1969-1973 for "re-education" during the Cultural Revolution. His father committed suicide in 1968. Rehabilitated as a model worker and permitted to attend the Jilin University of Technology, Wang ...

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 and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one ...

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