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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 27 June 2022
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Board and counter Wargame (1969). Designed by Philip Pritchard. / Lensman is the earliest known sf Wargame to be made available commercially. Like Spacewar (1962), it was inspired by E E Smith's Lensman books. Unlike that game, and despite its lack of authorization from Smith's estate, it is intimately involved with its source material, and difficult to fully understand without a preexisting knowledge of the milieu. The game mechanics are carefully chosen to represent the super-scientific ...

Hakim, Tawfiq al-

(1898-1987) Regarded along with Nobel-prize winning author Najib Mahfuz as the most important modern Egyptian author, author of over 50 books of short stories, novels, dramas and essays, some of sf interest. In 1947 he published his first sf short story, "Fi sana malyun" ["In the Year Million"]. His most interesting sf works are plays. In Rihla ila al-ghad (1950; trans as "Voyage to Tomorrow" 1981) he uses relativistic Time Travel during interstellar flight, in something of a homage to H G ...

Pratt, Fletcher

(1897-1956) US author and historian who began his career as an author and translator for Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories and its companions in the early 1930s; his first published story was "The Octopus Cycle" for Amazing in 1928 as with Irvin Lester (a Pratt pseudonym). While doing translations of German sf novels Pratt evolved what became a renowned method of extracting payment from the notoriously slow Gernsback organization: he would submit the first part of a novel, wait until it was set ...

MacFadyen, Virginia

(1900-1966) US actress and author whose At the Sign of the Sun (1925) is a Lost Race tale whose inhabitants whose lineage is antediluvian. [JC]

Townsend, John Rowe

(1922-2014) UK journalist, academic and author, whose made-up middle name was used to distinguish him from the author John Townsend. After they had lived together for many years, he and Jill Paton Walsh were married in 2004. Most of his work was for Young Adult readers, beginning with Gumble's Yard (1961; vt Trouble in the Jungle 1969), not sf. In Noah's Castle (1975), set in a deeply depressed Near-Future UK, a family attempts to find enough to eat but the world's decline is too precipitate, ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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