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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 25 July 2024
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Arthur C Clarke Award

This award has been given since 1987 for the best sf novel whose UK first edition was published during the previous calendar year, and consists of an inscribed bookend and a sum of money from a grant initially donated by Arthur C Clarke. In 2001 the prize money – until then a constant £1000 – was increased to £2001 as a gesture to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); it has since risen by ...


Film (1981). Universal. Directed by Allan Arkush. Written by John Hill. Cast includes Andy Kaufman, Bernadette Peters and Randy Quaid. 79 minutes. Colour. / Obviously disliked by its distributors, who trimmed it by ten minutes before release (not enough action) and then allowed it to sink almost without trace, this film is a mildly amusing, perhaps over-cute, extremely silly comedy about two domestic Robots (male and female) who escape from the repair shop ...


Term used to describe a form of Videogame in which the gameplay is largely based on the solution of puzzles. Such games are rarely played in real time. Instead, the progress of events in the gameworld will typically be suspended until the player acts, allowing them time to consider their current problem. It is important that the number of potential solutions for each puzzle be limited, so that players are not overwhelmed by the exploration of endless possibilities. ...

Convertito, Bill

(?   -    ) US author of an sf thriller, The Rombella Shuttle (1977), in which radical changes in the environment and human behaviour leads to justified Paranoia about the corrupting presence of Aliens adapted to be indistinguishable from humans; the human protagonist falls in love with one of these, and the conspiracy begins to unravel. [JC]

Kesey, Ken

(1935-2001) US author, best known for his first published novel, the nonfantastic One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), and for his central role in creating the avowedly countercultural "Merry Pranksters" in 1964, as memorably described in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968). Of sf interest is Sailor Song (1992), a Near Future tale set around 2020 in a seaside town in Alaska, among whose inhabitants are ...

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. He began to publish work of genre interest with an sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" in Triquarterly for Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959]; he began consistently publishing sf reviews in his "New Fiction" column for the Toronto Star (1966-1967), and later in ...

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