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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 August 2022
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Phillips, Michael J

(1879-1926) US soldier and author, active contributor of fiction to magazines from 1903 to around 1926; in his Future War tale, In Our Country's Service (1909), the war of 1938 between an augmented America – Canada having been "annexed" in 1928 – and a powerful Japan (see Yellow Peril) ends in the latter's swift defeat, due to the protagonist's feats of espionage. In "The Unborn Element" (23 June 1926 Adventure), a death Ray helps turn the tables in another war. [JC]

Worlds in Balance

Settings created for sf Games have some unique characteristics not shared with other science-fictional worlds. Most importantly, a gameworld must be balanced, meaning that opposing forces must be of approximately equal capabilities. While this may also be a requirement for an entertaining adventure story, in which the protagonist is engaged in conflict with a reasonable chance of either victory or defeat, games are much more demanding in this regard. Characters in stories may act foolishly as a ...

Fortress

Film (1992, but released 1993). Fortress Films/Village Roadshow Pictures/Davis Entertainment Production. Directed by Stuart Gordon. Written by Steve Feinberg, Troy Neighbors. Cast includes Jeffrey Combs, Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Christopher Lambert, Loryn Locklin, Kurtwood Smith, Tom Towles and Vernon Wells. 95 minutes. Colour. / In a Near-Future and apparently semi-fascist USA it is illegal to have more than one child, and ex "Black Beret" soldier John Brennick ...

Balloons

For some six months in 1783 Paris was the Cape Canaveral of the eighteenth century as Parisians watched a succession of extraordinary ascents by hot-air balloons. The first successful manned trip took place on 21 November, as reported by Benjamin Franklin, and it started off a long series of speculations about the conquest of the air, almost certainly the first fictional response being The Aerostatic Spy: Or, Excursions with an Air Balloon by an Aerial Traveller (1785; exp vt The Balloon: Or ...

Stout, Rex

(1886-1975) US author who began publishing poems and stories in magazines as early as 1910, and became best known for his Nero Wolfe detective stories, beginning with Fer-de-Lance (1934) and continuing to the end of his life, the last being A Family Affair (1975); none of the Wolfe novels and novellas have any fantastic content. Some of his early work does, however, contain fantastic elements: the book-length "A Prize for Princes" (2 May 1914 Cavalier/30 May 1914 All-Story Cavalier Weekly [see ...

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 publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...



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