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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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Behn, Aphra

(1640-1689) UK playwright, spy (under the name Astrea), poet and author now recognized as probably the first Englishwoman to earn her living entirely by writing. Though she obscured her childhood thoroughly, it is now thought that she was probably born Eaffrey Johnson; in 1663 she was almost certainly in the British colony of Surinam with members of her family, where she first became involved in political intrigues. She married on her return to England in 1664. Little is known of her husband, ...

Letts, Barry

(1925-2009) UK Television producer, actor, scriptwriter and author, primarily associated with Doctor Who, though he was active in the theatre from before World War Two, in a career lasting nearly seventy years. His work as producer for the 1969-1974 seasons of Doctor Who featuring Jon Pertwee (1919-1996) arguably saved the series: partly because of his savvy decision to keep the Doctor earthbound, where a non-sf audience might become used to him; and partly because his articulate liberal stance ...

Williams, David J

(1971-    ) UK author whose Cyberpunk-flavoured Autumn Rain Trilogy – comprising The Mirrored Heavens (2008), The Burning Skies (2009) and The Machinery of Light (2010) – begins with the Near Future destruction of a Space Elevator and the assignment to protect America undertaken by two counterintelligence agents, who may have been memory-wiped (see Memory Edit). Their destruction of the insurgency known as Autumn Rain proves temporary, and the action escalates ...

Walker, Rowland

(1876-1947) UK author of tales for boys. The Antihero of The Phantom Airman (1920) is a German airman unreconciled to the outcome of World War One, who establishes a pirate band whose depredations are made possible by a secret Invention; By Airship to the Tropics: The Amazing Adventures of Two Schoolboys (1923) unthreateningly deposits its protagonists in a Lost World; Phantom Island: A Modern Crusoe Story (1925) is a Robinsonade whose young protagonists crash their Airship on an Island ...

Minsky, Marvin

(1927-2016) US computer scientist of considerable renown in the field of artificial intelligence, who at the time of his death was Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and also professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He advised Stanley Kubrick on the plausibility of a talking, sentient Computer by the year 2001, for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). His one sf novel is The Turing Option (1992) with Harry Harrison, whose AI ...

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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