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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 20 June 2022
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Looper

Film (2012). FilmDistrict/TriStar Pictures. Directed by Rian Johnson, starting Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. Written by Johnson. Colour. 118 minutes. / It is 2044 and Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is a looper, a paid killer who murders people sent back from the further future (thus eliminating any evidence of the crime). Obviously this Time Travel premise makes no sense but it exists to allow director Johnson to explore the possibility of second chances. Loopers are so called ...

Shadwell, Thomas

(circa 1640-1692) UK poet and playwright, Poet Laureate from 1688 until his death. Of his plays – which are now better esteemed than for the centuries after his death – The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island [for subtitle see Checklist below] (performed 1674; 1690 chap) is of some interest, though its attempts to present the fantastic in terms of spectacle now seem lame. Of greater sf interest is The Virtuoso: A Comedy Acted at the Duke's Theatre (first performed 1676 Duke's Theatre, ...

Orbit

1. Seminal US Original-Anthology series edited by Damon Knight. Although Orbit was not the first such series, having been preceded by Star Science Fiction Stories in the USA and New Writings in SF in the UK, it was its extraordinary early success that precipitated the boom in such series in the early 1970s. It had a more literary orientation than the sf magazines, and perhaps for this reason was especially popular with the active members of the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. ...

Pratt, Tim

(1976-    ) US author and poet, a graduate of Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop (East) who is currently a senior editor of Locus, for which he has written many reviews and obituaries. He also writes as T A Pratt and as by T Aaron Payton. Pratt began to publish fiction of genre interest with "53rd Annual Mantis Homecoming Dance" in Maelstrom Speculative Fiction for Winter 1999 and has since been highly prolific in short fiction, with well over a hundred stories and ...

Stapledon, Olaf

(1886-1950) UK author and philosopher, born in the Wirral peninsula near Liverpool, where he spent the greater part of his life. In Waking World (1934) he admitted that he lived "chiefly on dividends and other ill-gotten gains". The name Olaf does not indicate foreign antecedents: his parents had been reading Carlyle's The Early Kings of Norway (coll 1875) when he was born. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he worked for a short period without enthusiasm in the family shipping office ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...



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