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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 17 June 2024
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Masters, Anthony

(1940-2003) UK educator and author, active from about 1964; he was a prolific author of biographies; his eleven novels for adults are nonfantastic. Relatively early in his career, writing as Richard Tate, he published some deliberately exorbitant shockers, of which The Dead Travel Fast (1971) is of interest for its transgressive invasion of Dracula territory via a series of vampirish murders on a film set. Red Ice (1986) with Nicholas Barker is a ...

Nabokov, Vladimir

(1899-1977) Russian-born US poet, translator, entomologist and author. Raised in Russia until the Revolution, and then educated at Cambridge, he lived between the wars in Germany and France, writing as by V Sirin; he emigrated to the USA in 1940 – at which point he began to write in English rather than Russian (he had been an accomplished translator from English into Russian for some years) – and from 1959 lived in Switzerland. His first books of poetry date from the teens of the ...

Collas, Phil

Working name of Australian author Felix Edward Collas (1907-1989), whose only sf work, The Inner Domain (October 1935 Amazing; 1989 chap), is a kind of Lost Race tale, in which aboriginal Australians, millennia ago, discovered relics of an ancient civilization Underground, which they are still inhabiting in 1981. [JC]

Babbage, Charles

(1791-1871) UK mathematician and inventor, a founder of the Analytical Society in 1811, and a Fellow of the Royal Society from 1816; the first of his nearly 100 technical papers, "On continued products", appeared in 1813. His recognition of the necessity for accurate calculation of mathematical tables, as used in navigation and astronomy – after a particular bad set of calculations, he is famously reported to have said, "I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam" – ...

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 ...

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, Kenneth Bulmer, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its ...

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