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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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Videogame (1986). Nexa Corporation. Designed by Rob Swigart. Platforms: Amiga, AppleII, AtariST, C64, Mac, PCBoot. / Portal was an attempt to create a "computer novel", a form that was intended to more closely resemble that of hyperfiction (see Hypertext) than that of the text Adventure. The player takes the part of an astronaut sent on a solitary mission of exploration in a slower-than-light Starship. When they return, a century after their departure, Earth is deserted and the only ...

Kendrick, Walter

(1947-1998) US academic and author who is of sf interest for A Fire in the Sky (1978), which adequately novelizes the made-for-Television Disaster film A Fire in the Sky (1978), dealing with a threatened Comet impact on Earth. [JC]


Imaginary countries are common in the literatures of the world, but only some can properly be called Ruritanian. In The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) by the UK author Anthony Hope, Rudolf Rassendyll, a leisured and insouciant young Britisher of the 1890s, travels on a whim, via Paris and Dresden, to the small, feudal, independent, German-speaking middle-European kingdom of Ruritania, located somewhere east-southeast of the latter city. Here he discovers that he is the virtual Double of the king to ...


The annual awards given by the World SF Society, comprising members of the Worldcon. The awards were originally known as the Science Fiction Achievement Awards while affectionately termed Hugos in honour of Hugo Gernsback; the name was officially changed to the Hugo Awards when the US authorities declined to allow a service mark on the original name. Hugos were first awarded at the 1953 World SF Convention (see Worldcon); the idea was then dropped for a year (1954), but since 1955 the awards ...

Sorel, Charles

(?1602-1674) French lawyer, secretary to noble houses and author whose large oeuvre contains little that might reflect an inclination toward Proto SF; the 1602 year of birth, often given, would have him publishing multi-volume novels by his late teens, and birth dates in the 1590s have been suggested. Of some interest, however, are three tales which incorporate elements of the Fantastic Voyage, generally with Satirical intent. The three protagonists of Description de l'isle de Portraiture et de ...

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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