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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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Merritt, A

(1884-1943) US editor, real-estate developer and author, primarily of Fantasy and Science Fantasy though he was influential among sf writers and readers as well. His first years were occupied with newspaper journalism; he was a longtime assistant editor of The American Weekly, becoming editor-in-chief in 1937 and remaining so until his death. Though his fiction was written as a sideline to this busy career between 1917 and 1934, which may explain why his output was small compared to most ...

Sherred, T L

(1915-1985) US author who worked in Detroit for the auto industry as a technical writer. His production of fiction was small, and First Person, Peculiar (coll 1972) contains all the stories for which he is remembered, most significantly "E for Effort" (May 1947 Astounding), his first published story. It describes, semi-humorously but with a fundamental pessimism, the consequences of a Time Viewer device that permits its users to view past and present events. Its inventor and his associate are ...

McClure's Magazine

US Slick magazine published by S S McClure, edited by Ida Tarbell and others. Monthly June 1893 to January 1926 (irregularly towards the end). Recommenced June 1926 as a romance magazine. Merged with Smart Set in April 1929. / Samuel S McClure (1857-1949) made his money establishing the first US newspaper syndicate, and used this knowledge when he launched his monthly magazine to save costs by drawing some of his stories from those published in Britain, initially The Idler, but later The ...

Ohlander, Ben

(1965-    ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with the short fantasy "Smoke and Mirrors" in Magic: The Gathering: Tapestries (anth 1995) edited by Kathy Ice and Tied to the Collectible Card Game. His novels are Enemy of My Enemy (1995) with David Drake, a tie (written chiefly by Ohlander) to the First Person Shooter Videogame Terra Nova (1996); and the Military SF Wing Commander: The Price of Freedom (1996) with William R Forstchen, similarly tied to the ...


There is a false belief that sf and humour do not mix. Certainly sf has produced many bad jokes – Arthur C Clarke's Tales From the White Hart (coll of linked stories 1957) is entirely devoted to them – but from the beginning it has also produced many good ones. Much sf humour takes the form of social Satire, and stories of this kind are discussed mainly in that entry. While the discussion below naturally includes satires also, it focuses on sf that elicits laughter rather than a wry ...

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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