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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 24 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: Joe Haldeman

Williams, Sheila

(1956-    ) US editor long associated with the magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, where she began her career in 1982, working initially with Shawna McCarthy and then with Gardner Dozois, and on the latter's retirement becoming editor in 2004 (as of the January 2005 issue). She has deftly and responsibly maintained the quality of the magazine in a period when print journals have been under universal threat, an achievement recognized by her 2011 and 2012 Hugo wins as Best ...

Superman

In the same way that theories of Evolution provide an imaginative context for sf stories about the Origin of Man and Life on Other Worlds, so they govern attitudes to superhumans. There is a significant difference, though, between Darwin-inspired images of a "fitter" species and images inspired by Lamarckian and Bergsonian ideas of "creative evolution", in which the emergence of a superman might be the result of humankind's fervent desire to become something finer. Also of some relevance ...

Untermeyer, Louis

(1885-1977) US author, poet, critic and prolific anthologist. He is of genre interest for his Parody volume Heavens (coll 1922), whose framing device is an Afterlife fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] in which the unnamed protagonist is offered a choice of 976 heavens including a number of "Literary Realms" themed for particular authors. Of the five actually depicted, "The Heaven of Queer Stars" spoofs G K Chesterton, whose Father Brown-like spokesman scores endless ...

Wellen, Edward

(1919-2011) US author, almost exclusively of short stories, mostly in the mystery genre. His first sf was a "non-fact article", "Origins of Galactic Slang" for Galaxy in July 1952, and was followed by a sequence of similar Galactic Origins spoofs over the following ten years. His actual sf was concise, literate, cynical and frequently anthologized over his forty-year career, and is overdue for collection; Perps (coll 2000) assembles mysteries only. In his only sf novel, Hijack (May 1970 ...

Fisk, Nicholas

Pseudonym of UK musician, illustrator, publisher and author David Lee Higginbottom (1923-2016), who wrote exclusively for children, reportedly beginning to publish short stories before World War Two (none has been identified). After some nonfiction, his first sf tale was Space Hostages (1967), in which his tastes for Hard-SF backgrounds and realistically conceived protagonists were competently expressed in a tale whose young protagonists must learn how to survive after their Spaceship has been ...

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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