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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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Compton, D G

(1930-2023) UK author, born of parents who were both in the theatre; he increasingly lived in the USA after 1981. As Guy Compton, he published some unremarkable detective novels, beginning with Too Many Murderers (1962), and as by Frances Lynch produced some nonfantastic Gothics throughout his career; but soon turned to sf with tales almost always set in the Near Future, and anatomizing moral dilemmas within that arena: the future is very clearly ...

Lake, David J

(1929-2016) Indian-born UK academic and author who emigrated to Australia in 1967; his education (a Jesuit school in India, a BA in English at Cambridge, a diploma in linguistics and a PhD in English) is reflected in the texture of his sf work, as is his teaching in Vietnam, Thailand and India (1959-1967). After several works of criticism, including the strongly argued, somewhat controversial The Canon of Thomas Middleton's Plays (1975) and a volume of poetry, ...

Skillingstead, Jack

(1955-    ) US author, married to Nancy Kress from 2011; he began to publish work of genre interest with "The Apprentice" in Whispers from the Shattered Forum for June 2003. With other short work it was assembled in Are You There and Other Stories (coll 2009; exp 2014); the cumulative propulsive energy of his short work, much of it not sf, is very considerable. An sf tale like "Bean There" (April 2005 ...

Faville, Barry

(1939-    ) New Zealand author, mostly of work for the Young Adult market; his second novel, The Return (1987), is of sf interest for its depiction of the effects on an isolated New Zealand village of the Mysterious-Stranger-like visit of a young man whose nature and goals are obscure, but whose powers of Telepathy threaten to reveal the true nature of the ...

Rolt-Wheeler, Francis W

Working name of UK author Francis William Wheeler (1876-1960), in US and Canada circa 1900-1925, later in Tunis and Nice; in his early career he specialized in stories for boys, though in his later years – after a spectacular 1915 divorce which led to his imprisonment – he turned to the kind of religious investigation, including forays into Theosophy, that characterized the career of his sister, Ethel Rolt Wheeler (1869-1958) (both siblings added ...

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. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began consistently publishing sf reviews in his "New Fiction" column for the Toronto Star (1966-1967), and sf ...

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