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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 August 2022
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Gas Giant

Item of sf Terminology invented by James Blish; it proved so useful that it is now often used by astronomers. It refers to the fact that four of the planets of our solar system are not comparatively small and dense, like Earth and Mars, but extremely large, and consist mainly of substances like hydrogen, helium, methane and ammonia. The helium content suggests the possibility of "mining" gas giants for helium-3 fuel to be used in nuclear-fusion Power Sources. Even in the cold at the outer edge ...


Videogame (2003). Digital Anvil (DA). Designed by Chris Roberts. Platforms: Win. / Freelancer is a three-dimensional Space Sim which combines the open exploratory gameplay of Elite (1984) with an integrated linear plot (see Interactive Narrative). The player character is Edison Trent, a down on his luck "freelancer" who needs a new ship. Soon the player is involved with a secret alien invasion, searching for a mysterious artefact that can eventually be used to help save humanity. The ...

Carroll, Lewis

Pseudonym of UK photographer, mathematician and author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), whose famous children's stories, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871) – an early example of the novel (sf or otherwise) structured around the moves of a game of Chess – have had a profound impact on a wide range of writers, over and above the numerous Parodies, often dealing with Politics, that the Innocent-in-Wonderland ...

Johnny Mnemonic

Film (1995). Limited Partnership. An Alliance Communications production. Directed by Robert Longo. Written by William Gibson, based on his story "Johnny Mnemonic" (May 1981 Omni). Cast includes Ice-T, Takeshi Kitano, Dina Meyer and Keanu Reeves. 96 minutes. Colour. / "Johnny Mnemonic" (May 1981 Omni), one of William Gibson's earliest stories, is about a future in which information is carried in the brains of "mnemonic" couriers. One such courier, Johnny (Reeves), is targeted by a Japanese ...

Wray, A Lunar

Pseudonym of US Unitarian minister and author Minot Judson Savage (1841-1918), whose At the Back of the Moon; Or, Observations of Lunar Phases (1879), a spoofish verse Satire in which a group of touring Lunarians, after conveying to the narrator of the tale their sense of life on the Evolution of life on Earth, return to the back side of the Moon, where they inhabit a topsy-turvy world which the narrator describes bemusedly. Some of Savage's works under his own name contain spiritualist ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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