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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 10 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: David Redd

Avatars

In the world of Computers, Cyberspace and Virtual Reality as these concepts already exist, avatars are familiar as the visible icons or points of presence in virtual space of either human beings or software routines. Well-known examples include the representations of player and non-player characters in Videogames, Computer Role Playing Games, and such online VR environments as Second Life. Vernor Vinge's True Names (1981 dos) prophetically illustrated what is now a commonplace: that one can ...

Charnock, Graham

(1946-    ) UK author active in Fandom since the 1970s London Ratfandom scene, whose Fanzines include Phile (7 issues 1966-?1968), Wrinkled Shrew (8 issues 1974-1979) with his wife Pat Charnock, and Vibrator (59 issues 1975-1977, 2003-2005, 2013-2020). He began to publish work of genre interest with "Crim" in New Worlds #184 for November 1968, followed by further stories in that magazine and in various Original Anthologies. As part of the late-1960s New Worlds team, Charnock ...

Thomas, Frances

(1943-    ) UK author most of whose fiction has been for the Young Adult market, usually fantasy, beginning with "In Flanders Fields" in The Fourteenth Armada Ghost Book (anth 1982) edited by Mary Danby. The young protagonist of Cityscape (1988) travels through a portal to a moderately Near Future Dystopia, a world where books are banned, and through her literacy aids in a successful rebellion, whose leader she fancies: but he proves just as corrupt as his predecessors. ...

Walters, Guy

(1971-    ) UK historian and author, much of whose work has focused on the years leading up to World War Two and on the war itself. Of sf interest is The Leader (2003), a Hitler Wins tale set in an early 1940s Britain ruled by Oswald Mosley (1896-1980); justice triumphs in the end. Similar scenarios were examined with somewhat greater care in Jo Walton's Small Changes trilogy (2006-2008) and D J Taylor's The Windsor Faction (2013). [JC]

Meme

Term coined by the biologist Richard Dawkins (1941-    ) in The Selfish Gene (1976), denoting "a unit of cultural transmission", a pattern of information which – analogous to the gene in Biology – tends to propagate itself. The general concept had previously been discussed by the biologist Jacques Monod (1910-1976) in Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), and may in fact be traced indirectly back to Die Mneme (1908; ...

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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