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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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Spencer, Wen

Pseudonym of US author Wendy Kosak (1963-    ) whose work typically interfuses fantasy, weird fiction and sf, sometimes gaining Equipoisal sharpness through the process. She began to publish with her first series – the Ukia Oregon sequence comprising Alien Taste (2001), which won the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award for best first novel, Tainted Trail (2002), Bitter Waters (2003) and Dog Warrior (2004) – whose protagonist, after being raised by wolves, ...

Reach for the Stars

Videogame (1983). Strategic Studies Group (SSG). Designed by Roger Keating, Ian Trout. Platforms: C64 (1983); AppleII (1985); DOS (1986); Amiga (1988). / Reach For The Stars is essentially a skilfully implemented conversion of the board-and-counter game Stellar Conquest (1974) to a form suitable for home computers. As such it is the most important link between that seminal Wargame and Master of Orion (1993), the first work to be described as a 4X Game. Like Stellar Conquest, Reach For The ...

Time Out of Sequence

The Perception of events in a shuffled or apparently random sequence – as distinct from the simple negative of Time in Reverse – is played for laughs in F Anstey's Tourmalin's Time Cheques (A Farcical Extravagance) (1891; vt The Time Bargain; or, Tourmalin's Cheque Book 1905), where it generates an escalating sense of comic confusion. More usually, the effect disturbingly emphasizes the illusory nature of free will in a deterministic universe. A prime example is Slaughterhouse-Five, ...

Bowman, Erin

(1985-    ) US author, most of whose work has been fantasy written for the Young Adult market, her first publications of significance being the Gray Wethersby sequence beginning with Taken (2013), set in a colouristically delineated Near Future Dystopian world, in a Keep-like enclave where all male children are ritually kidnapped on their eighteenth birthday. As may be expected, the world outside the walls is radically at odds with the militaristic hierarchy ostensibly in ...

Marathon Trilogy

Videogame series (from 1994). Bungie Studios (BS). / The Marathon Trilogy is a series of First Person Shooters with a common player character, a twenty-eighth-century Cyborg security officer. The first game, Marathon (1994 BS, Mac; 2011 iOS) designed by Alex Seropian, Jason Jones, begins with an attack by the alien Pfhor on the Marathon, a gigantic interstellar colony ship, constructed from the Martian moon of Deimos. The player must attempt to defeat the Pfhor, alternately aided and ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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