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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 23 May 2022
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Puella Magi Madoka Magica

["Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika", literally "Magical Girl Madoka Magika"]. Japanese tv series. (2011). Shaft, Aniplex, Hakuhodo, DY Media Partners, Hōbunsha, MBS, Movic, Nitroplus. Cast includes Yuki Aoi, Emiri Katō, Eri Kitamura, Kaoru Mizuhashi and Chiwa Saito. Directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. Written by Gen Urobuchi. Twelve 25-minute episodes. Colour. / Japanese schoolgirl Madoka (Aoi) is offered a Faustian pact by the Alien Kyubey (Kitamura), who promises to grant her a wish ...

Gurney, James

(1958-    ) US illustrator, raised in California, who studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Gurney made his sf debut with a cover for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1982, but his real baptism of fire that year was working as one of only two background painters on the animated Sword-and-Sorcery film Fire and Ice (1982). Gurney, who works in oils, primarily paints book covers; he has also done historic and prehistoric paintings for National ...

Kadohata, Cynthia

(1956-    ) US author who has focused primarily on Young Adult fiction, most of it nonfantastic. Of sf interest is In the Heart of the Valley of Love (1992), set in a Near Future Los Angeles, which has by 2052 become an impoverished, ill-governed, hardscrabble. Dystopian enclave. The protagonist, unusually for an sf novel set in California, is Japanese-American, and must survive in a world where race discrimination (see Race in SF) has intensified. The Glass Mountains (1995) ...

Dicks, Terrance

(1935-2019) UK scriptwriter, editor, and author, best known for his involvement in various capacities over many years with Doctor Who (see this entry for more details). His career as scriptwriter for this BBC television series began in the late 1960s with rewrite work on episodes 3-6 of Brian Hayles's season-six storyline The Seeds of Death (25 January-1 March 1969), later in the season he was jointly credited with Malcolm Hulke for the ten-part The War Games (19 April-21 June 1969). Dicks was ...


Term used in this encyclopedia for the frequent Space Opera plot device of a bygone Alien race which once dominated the galaxy but – following what may or may not be a significant Time Abyss – has mysteriously vanished, generally leaving behind numerous relics of its "Old Technology" which may serve as tempting McGuffins. Such artefacts often include enigmatic Big Dumb Objects or Macrostructures. Often the Forerunners prove to have seeded the galaxy with life and thus to be our ...

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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