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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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Gothic SF

In current usage a "Gothic" is a romantic novel with a strong element of the mysterious or the supernatural which usually features the persecution of a woman in an isolated locale; but this restricted and specialized use of the word, and the marketing category associated with it, have little to do with most sf. The term "Gothic" entered the English language as a descriptive term for a particular kind of story with the publication of The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1764) by Horace Walpole ...

Ganthony, Richard

(1856-1924) UK playwright and author of the sf play, A Message from Mars: A Fantastic Comedy in Three Acts (performed 1899), which was first published in novelized form as A Message from Mars: A Story Founded on the Popular Play by Richard Ganthony (1912) by Lester Lurgan, and in something like its original form as A Message from Mars: A Fantastic Comedy in Three Acts (1923 chap), which was a revision of the original script. It was filmed twice, both times as A Message from Mars (1913 and ...

Ian, Janis

Working name of US musician, singer and songwriter Janis Eddy Fink (1951-    ), popular in and appreciative of sf Fandom. With Mike Resnick and (anonymously) Martin H Greenberg she co-edited the Original Anthology Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian (anth 2003; exp vt Stars: The Anthology 2014), introduced by Ian and featuring her own debut sf story "Second Person Unmasked". She has written further short genre fiction, including a collaboration with Kevin ...

Mead, Harold

(1910-1997) Indian-born author, in the UK from an early age. The first and better known of his sf novels, The Bright Phoenix (1955), is a sombrely told Ruined Earth tale in which a reestablished but over-regimented Utopian culture tries unsuccessfully to reinhabit abandoned parts of the Earth; it ends a little sentimentally with a Second Coming. The other, Mary's Country (1957), tells of the quest of a group of children – most of whose social peers have been killed by in a Pandemic (see ...

Ringo, John

(1963-    ) US author almost exclusively known for his Military SF, though he has in fact written some other sf and fantasy. He began his career with the first of the Posleen sequence, A Hymn Before Battle (2000), in which a Near Future Earth is informed by representatives of something like a benevolent Galactic Empire that an inimical Alien civilization, the Posleen, is about to mount an Invasion, and that Earth's best recourse is to commit elite troops to the interstellar ...

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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