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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 November 2022
Sponsor of the day: Joe Haldeman

Grey Goo

Popular term (also spelt "gray goo" in the USA) for the nightmare scenario of uncontrolled Nanotechnology in which the hypothetical tiny self-replicators reproduce without limit, converting all available organic matter – or in some cases inorganic matter, or both – into more and yet more devouring grey goo. Such a Disaster is threatened but averted in Assemblers of Infinity (September-December 1992 ...

Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty

Videogame (1992; vt Dune II: Battle for Arrakis Europe). Westwood Studios (WS). Designed by Joseph Bostic, Aaron Powell. Platforms: DOS (1992); Amiga (1993); MegaDrive (1994). / While it was not the first Computer Wargame to run in real time, Dune II was the first Real Time Strategy game as the form is understood today. Although the game was ...

Sullivan, Jas F

(1852-1936) UK cartoonist and author; despite more than once being so identified, he is not the brother of UK illustrator Edmund J Sullivan (1869-1933). Much of his visual and written work consisted of Satirical takes on nineteenth century British mores, most famously in The British Working Man, by One Who Doesn't Believe in Him (graph coll 1878), which has no fantastic content. Belial's Burdens: Down with the McWhings (1896) is a killing ...

Smith, Russell J

(1972-    ) UK author of The Phenomenon (2007), a Near Future sf tale, set in a world already beset by Climate Change, which is afflicted by a "disease" whose victims broadcast their thoughts (see Telepathy) involuntarily. [JC]


In sf Terminology, an apartment in a high-rise building. Conapts often feature what is effectively a complete life-support system, so that even when they are in a densely populated city their inhabitants are often seen to be isolated from other people. A conapt is often assumed to be in a city consisting of high-rise buildings, each one highly populated, but with the buildings themselves not necessarily crowded together, and sometimes separated by parkland. ...

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 ...

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