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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 24 January 2022
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Tayler, J Lionel

(1874-1930) UK medical doctor, teacher, minister and author whose remarkable Future History, The Last of My Race: A Dream of the Future (1924), has perhaps suffered through its being structured as a dream. Without its debilitating conclusion, the narrative reads as a worthy precursor of the cosmic histories soon to be composed by Olaf Stapledon. After awakening from Suspended Animation (see Sleeper Awakes), the twentieth-century narrator finds himself, three hundred millennia hence, in a world ...

Westerman, Percy F

(1876-1959) UK author who specialized in adventure tales for boys, though his protagonists were usually vigorous adults, as befitted their military/adventurer roles; and very frequently set at sea. He was the father of John F C Westerman. Of Westerman's 170 or more volumes between 1908 and 1959, several are Children's SF, the most successful of these being perhaps the first: The Flying Submarine (1912), an Invention adventure built around the ominous submarine described in the title, whose ...

Cassidy, James

Pseudonym of UK author Edith Mary Steane (1861-1942), who produced several Anthologies under her own name, and, as Cassidy, The Gift of Life (1897), featuring a substance known as "life-lymph" which, when patients are inoculated with it, seems vastly to increase their resistance to death (see Immortality). [JC]


The use of drugs, both real and imaginary, is a common theme in sf, notably in Cyberpunk. The topic is discussed in some detail under Perception, and a little under New Wave and Psychology. Film and television treatments of the theme include Altered States (1980), Doomwatch (1970-1972), Liquid Sky (1982) and THX 1138 (1971). A small selection of the many sf authors who have used drug themes is: Brian W Aldiss, Ralph Blum, Karin Boye, William S Burroughs, Don DeLillo, Philip K Dick, Charles ...

Barlow, Steve

(?   -    ) Pseudonym of Steve Lowe, UK author of two Star Wars parodies – Star Bores (1999) and Star Bores: The Prequel (2004 dos) – both with Steve Skidmore. Barlow and Skidmore have collaborated on very many books and scripts for child and Young Adult readers. The Outernet sequence involves Cyberspace derring-do in the galactic Internet of the series title: Outernet: 1: Friend or Foe (2002), Outernet: 2: Control (2002), Outernet: 3: Odyssey ...

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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