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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 20 June 2022
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Beckett, Chris

(1955-    ) Former UK social worker, lecturer on this subject at Anglia Ruskin University since 1990, and author of several sf stories and novels (in addition to solo and co-authored textbooks on social work, not listed below). His first sf appearance was "A Matter of Survival" (October 1990 Interzone); further sales to Interzone and Asimov's followed. Fourteen short sf stories were assembled as The Turing Test (coll 2008), which in 2009 caused some stir by winning the ...

Time Bandits

UK film (1981). HandMade Films/Janus Films. Produced and directed by Terry Gilliam. Executive producers George Harrison, Denis O'Brien. Special effects John Bunker. Written by Gilliam, Michael Palin. Cast includes Kenny Baker, John Cleese, Sean Connery, David Daker, Derek Deadman, Malcolm Dixon, Shelley Duvall, Mike Edmonds, Sheila Fearn, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Tony Jay (voice), Michael Palin, Jack Purvis, David Rappaport, Ralph Richardson, Tiny Ross, Peter Vaughan, David Warner, Craig ...


An item of sf Terminology introduced by William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer (1984). He takes quite an old sf idea, also much discussed by scientists, in imagining a Near-Future era in which the human brain and nervous system (biological) can interface directly with the global Internet (electrical) by jacking neurally implanted electrodes directly into a networked Computer (or "cyberdeck"). The network then entered by the human mind is perceived by it, Gibson tells us, as if it were an ...

Straus, Ralph

(1882-1950) UK author who also published as by Ralph Strode; his only sf novel, The Dust which Is God: An Undimensional Adventure (1907 chap), confronts a frustrated scientist (see Mad Scientist) whose mentor from another Dimension serves as his Virgilian guide on a tour of various exemplary planets (see Cosmology; Utopia), where he learns that the goal of Evolution – which is to say "the Evolution of the superman" (see Superman) – is to realize the god within us. That this tale was ...

Muir, Ward

(1878-1927) UK photographer and author whose "Further East than Asia": A Romantic Adventure (1919) is set in a Lost World – an Island in the Far East – whose inhabitants gain longevity (see Immortality) through bathing in a radioactive pool, which also gives them leprosy. [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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