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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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Paul, Barbara

(1931-2022) US author who began publishing sf with "Answer 'Affirmative' or 'Negative'" for Analog in April 1972, but who became much better known in the 1980s for her detective novels, of which she has written at least twenty; one of them, Liars and Tyrants and People who Turn Blue (1980), depends for its plot upon a psychic character. Earlier Paul wrote several sf novels – An Exercise for Madmen (1978), Pillars of Salt (1979), Bibblings (1979) and Under the Canopy (1980) – which ...

Dawson, Basil

(1914-1979) Author, presumably UK, of a Dan Dare Tie (see Dan Dare) for the Young Adult market, Dan Dare on Mars (1956), in which he opposes a foe who wishes to make Mars uninhabitable. [JC]

Ascendance of a Bookworm

Japanese animated tv series (2019-current). Original title vt Honzuki no Gekokujō. Based on the Light Novel by Miya Kazuki. Ajia-do Animation Works. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. Written by Mariko Kunisawa. Voice cast includes Show Hayami, Yuka Iguchi and Aya Uchida. 26 24-minute episodes (and two OVAs). Colour. / A Head Priest (Hyami) uses matching circlets to view a puzzling young child's past. We next see that child, Myne (Iguchi), on the verge of death: she recovers yet seems ...

Venturini, Fred

(1980-    ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Threshold" (in Sick Things: An Anthology of Extreme Creature Horror, anth 2010, edited by Cheryl Mullenax), and whose Young Adult first novel, The Samaritan (2011; vt The Heart Does Not Grow Back 2014), also makes use of Horror in SF tropes to give verisimilitude to the story of a highschool student with powers of Regeneration, which he learns to use for good (see Superheroes). [JC]


A much-quoted item of sf Terminology, originally introduced in the anarcho-religious tract Principia Discordia (1965) by Kerry Thornley and Greg Hill, and widely popularized in the Illuminatus! trilogy (1975) by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In the Paranoia-riddled context of an assumed global conspiracy, fnords are defined as deliberately inserted keywords – for which the invented term "fnord" is a generic placeholder – which as a result of supposed childhood conditioning we ...

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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