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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 20 June 2022
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Guin, Wyman

(1915-1989) US pharmacologist, advertising executive and author who began publishing sf with "Trigger Tide" as Norman Menasco for Astounding in October 1950, though his career can be said really to have begun with "Beyond Bedlam" (August 1951 Galaxy) which, like most of his best work of the 1950s and early 1960s, seemed ideally designed for Galaxy, with its focus (see Medicine; Identity; Psychology; Sociology) on the human implications involved in enduring the future. It is a brilliant ...

Gafla, Ofir Touché

(1968-    ) Israeli author whose first novel, Olam Hasof (2004; trans Mitch Ginsburg as The World of the End 2013), begins as an Afterlife fantasy (for Afterlife see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below), with the protagonist's suicide, which he figures will reunite him with his beloved dead wife. The various worlds into which he plunges, however, are engineered according to the precepts of various genres (see Equipoise), including sf proper, Horror in SF, noir ...

McCrumb, Sharyn

(1948-    ) US author, in most of whose titles detective plots intersect with fantasy and/or sf material, though her first novel to invoke these genres, Bimbos of the Death Sun (1987), a Recursive Satire set at an sf Convention, does not actually turn into sf, and is the first of the Jay Omega sequence. What is most remarkable about the book, for the sf reader, may be McCrumb's intimate understanding of fans (see Fandom) and writers and their typical interactions, a ...

Wank, Elihu S

Pseudonym of UK author A Gordon Jones (?   -?   ) whose How I Discovered the North Pole [for full title see Checklist below] (1909) is a Parody of Polar expedition narratives, including the use of a prehistoric mammoth (see Lost World; Prehistoric SF) in the role of elephant, and the capture of giant whelks. Sherlock Holmes makes a brief appearance. [JC]

Arrested Development

Term used in this encyclopedia for the not uncommon scenario whereby humanity's perceived failure to realize its potential – assumed by John W Campbell Jr and others to be boundless – results from externally imposed shackles whose recognition can amply justify Paranoia. Removal of these constraints is likely to trigger a more or less traumatic Conceptual Breakthrough. Though Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980) wrote that "the secret of eternal youth is arrested development", this ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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