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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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Irwin, Robert

(1946-2024) UK academic, mediaevalist, professional juggler (briefly) and author whose work in Arabian studies, of importance in itself, underpins the world envisioned in his first and most famous novel, The Arabian Nightmare (1983; rev 1987), which may be the definitive rendering of its central conceit: a mise en abyme-like dream narrative whose protagonist, upon seeming to awaken, only finds himself passing out of one story through a Portal into a deeper dream [for ...

Lewitt, S N

(1954-    ) US author; the initial N in her name stands for "Nothing"; she variously signs her works as given as the headword above, and as both Shariann Lewitt and Shariann N Lewitt; pseudonyms include Rick North and Gordon Kendall (see below). Lewitt began publishing work of genre interest with "St Joey the Action" in Perpetual Light (anth 1982) edited by Alan Ryan; after First and Final Rites (1984), a fantasy ...

Asimov, Janet

(1926-2019) US psychoanalyst and author, married to Isaac Asimov from 1973 until his death in 1992; she signed her early books J O Jeppson. Most of her sf is written for children, though her first venture, The Second Experiment (1974) as Jeppson, is an expansive tale whose main protagonist – a Robot – traces and deeply impacts upon the long story of the race that created him (see ...

Magnetism

While Gravity was long understood as a force that attracted people to the ground, it was accepted as a logical consequence of Earth's position at the center of the universe – as explained by Aristotle; but when it was discovered in ancient times that lodestones – naturally occurring magnets – could attract pieces of iron, the phenomenon seemed more mysterious and suggested the possibility of other strange attractive or repellent forces. Thus, ...

Berry, Stephen Ames

(1947-    ) US systems analyst and data architect, formerly with the US Army Security Agency, and author whose John Harrison/Biofab War sequence of Near Future adventures comprises The Biofab War (1984), The Battle for Terra Two (1986), The AI War (1987) and Final Assault (1988). Military engagements (see Military SF) predominate throughout between ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. He began to publish work of genre interest with an sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" in Triquarterly for Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959]; he began consistently publishing sf reviews in his "New Fiction" column for the Toronto Star (1966-1967), and later in ...



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