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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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Starcraft

Videogame (1998). Blizzard Entertainment (BE). Designed by James Phinney, Chris Metzen. Platforms: Win (1998); Mac (1999); vt Starcraft 64, N64 (2000). / Starcraft is a Real Time Strategy game, played in a two-dimensional overhead view. Its setting owes much to the films Aliens (1986) and Predator (1987). The storyline follows a war between three factions in a Space Opera future, the Terran Confederacy (analogous to Aliens' Marines), the arthropodal Hive-Mind Zerg (which share something ...

Mad Scientist

Although the Cliché of Mad Scientist as Villain is most familiar from sf in Pulp magazines and Comics, the notion that powerful minds are likely to become dangerously overheated is far older than sf. According to the Roman philosopher and playwright Seneca the Younger (circa 4 BCE-65 CE), "nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit" ["There was never a great genius without a touch of madness"], and John Dryden (1631-1700) famously wrote in Absalom and Achitophel (1681): "Great ...

Kiernan, Stephen P

(1960-    ) US journalist, editor and author whose first book, Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System (2006), eloquently presents the case adumbrated in its subtitle, demanding that doctors and legislators arouse themselves to face some genuinely difficult issues. His interest in the end (and ends) of life is reflected in his sf novel, The Curiosity (2013), a Sleeper Awakes whose central drama – the awakening from Suspended Animation in ice of a ...

Wright, Farnsworth

(1888-1940) US editor and occasional author, uncle of David Wright O'Brien; he began to publish work of genre interest with "The Closing Hand" in Weird Tales – for March 1923, becoming editor of that magazine in November 1924 after #13, and continuing in the post until December 1939, at which point he had produced 177 issues. Under his guidance Weird Tales presented a unique mixture of horror stories, sf, occult fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. More than anyone else, helped ...

Meier, Shirley

(1960-    ) Canadian author and poet who began to publish work of genre interest with "Trave" in the Shared World anthology Magic in Ithkar 4 (anth 1987) edited by Robert Adams and Andre Norton. Her first novel-length works were set in another shared world, the Fifth Millennium Fantasy series initiated by S M Stirling: Meier's contributions begin with The Sharpest Edge (1986; vt Saber and Shadow 1992) with S M Stirling – second in the sequence – and include the ...

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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