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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 8 December 2022
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Marquis, Don

(1878-1937). US playwright, poet and author, largely self-educated. Active from about 1900, he began his career as a columnist in 1907 for Uncle Remus's Magazine edited by Joel Chandler Harris; he eventually moved to New York in 1909 and in 1912 secured a column on The Evening Sun (an evening offshoot of The Sun) which he called "The Sundial" and used as a vehicle for Satirical prose vignettes and humorous poetry with a cast of recurring ...

Clark, Margaret Goff

(1913-2004) US author for children, whose Barney sequence – Barney and the UFO (1979; vt The Boy from the UFO 1981), Barney in Space (1981; vt The Boy from the UFO Returns 1981) and Barney on Mars (1983) – is an sf adventure of some interest, though neither UFOs or Mars are treated with any great originality. [JC]

Shafer, Robert

(1920-    ) US academic and author of The Conquered Place (1954; vt The Naked and the Damned 1955), a Near Future tale in which the eastern half of America has suffered a Russian Invasion; a resistance movement soon develops in the west, and a Scientist with vital knowledge is rescued from St Louis. [JC]


Small, normally icy bodies of our solar system whose appearance during close approach to the Sun can be spectacular owing to heating and outgassing effects producing the coma (a visible local atmosphere surrounding the central nucleus) and long tail of dust and gas blown outward from the sun by the Solar Wind. Owing to this visibility and the regular return of short-period comets – whose home is in the Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit ...

Balch, William S

(1806-1887) US minister, politician journalist and author, mostly of nonfiction; of sf interest is A Peculiar People; Or, Reality in Romance (1881), in which a visitor to the secluded land of Nussara in the Middle East (see Lost Race) discovers there a successful Utopia run on religious lines. Balch was a minister in the Universalist Church, a faith which espouses the doctrine that God did not create humans to damn them. ...

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 ...

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