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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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Watson, John B

(1878-1958) US psychologist and author, the principal figure in the creation and advancement of the school of behaviourism that dominated modern American Psychology for many decades (its influence was greatest in the US). He is of little direct sf interest, though indirectly his theory and practice can be seen to tacitly underlie much Genre SF, in tales where it is assumed that any child can gain competence, and even Superpowers, through the benefits of proper education (see Children in SF; ...

Letts, Barry

(1925-2009) UK Television producer, actor, scriptwriter and author, primarily associated with Doctor Who, though he was active in the theatre from before World War Two, in a career lasting nearly seventy years. His work as producer for the 1969-1974 seasons of Doctor Who featuring Jon Pertwee (1919-1996) arguably saved the series: partly because of his savvy decision to keep the Doctor earthbound, where a non-sf audience might become used to him; and partly because his articulate liberal stance ...

Garver, Ronald G

(1938-    ) US author known only for one, slightly inflamed, but otherwise unremarkable sf novel featuring UFOs: The Saucer People (1957). [JC]

Wooldridge, C W

(1847-1908) UK physician and author, in USA from childhood. In his Near Future Utopia, Perfecting the Earth: A Piece of Possible History (1902), a charismatic figure resembling Theodore Roosevelt begins to transform America by setting the army – idle in 1913 because there are no wars about to happen – to the task of building the West on utopian lines. Their climactic achievement is a utopian City-state in California, which by 1947 features Weather Control, sustainable industries, ...


Term used to refer to the individual who, in a group participating in a Role Playing Game, serves as both arbitrator of the rules and personification of the setting. Thus, the Gamemaster will take the part of any character not owned by one of the players, describe the appearance of the world, control events which occur "off stage", and so on. Some Gamemasters of "pen and paper" or "tabletop" Role Playing Games see themselves as neutral animators of a pre-existing world, and will try to simulate ...

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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