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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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Tolstoy, Alexei

(1883-1945) Russian author, sometimes mistakenly thought to have been a distant relative of Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910); he was not in fact a blood relative of the famous Tolstoy, though his mother's second husband was related, and gave Tolstoy his surname. Tolstoy is best known for two books whose first versions appeared in the experimental 1920s and both of which were revised in the decade of terror which followed. Aelita (first version #6 1922-#1-2 1923 Krasnaya Nov' as "Aelita (Zakat Marsa)"; ...

Barker, Nicola

(1966-    ) UK author, almost exclusively of tales set in the South-East of England, featuring characters who fit all too well into suburban subtopias, except for their tendency to commit mild verbal and physical mayhem on their surroundings. The mundanity of this world normally, in her work, seems shaky but does not normally spill over into the fantastic, though In the Approaches (2014) is partly narrated by a parrot, and The Cauliflower® (2016) fantasticates the life ...

Velez, Walter

(1939-2018) American artist. After extensive artistic training, Velez entered the field of commercial art, mostly focusing on advertising though he also did some album covers for Latino musicians. He began working on sf and Fantasy book covers in the late 1970s and quickly showed that he could provide covers with interesting tableaux of distinctively rendered human figures, like the friendly scoundrels drinking at an inn on the cover of Robert Asprin's first Thieves' World Shared-World ...

Lewis, Mick

(?   -    ) UK author of The Bloody Man (1998), a horror tale, and of two Ties for the Doctor Who universe, Doctor Who: Rags (2001) and Doctor Who: Combat Rock (2003). [JC]


For a long time Mars seemed to be the most likely abode for life outside the Earth, and for that reason it has always been of cardinal importance in sf. Its surface, unlike that of Venus, exhibits markings that have for a long time been visible (albeit unclearly) with the aid of optical telescopes, and has a distinct red colour. Early observers interpreted what they saw in terms of analogies with terrestrial phenomena: blue-green tracts interrupting the red were thought to be oceans or ...

Langford, David

(1953-    ) UK author, critic, editor, publisher and sf fan, in the latter capacity recipient of 21 Hugo awards for fan writing – some of the best of his several hundred pieces are assembled as Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (coll 1992 chap US; much exp vt The Silence of the Langford 1996; exp 2015 ebook) as Dave Langford, edited by Ben Yalow – plus five Best Fanzine Hugos and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one ...

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