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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
Sponsor of the day: The Telluride Institute

Christian, Deborah

(1956-    ) US author whose first novel, Mainline (1996), is an sf thriller involving much action in Parallel Worlds; the protagonist possesses a limited Psi-based ability to shift from one reality to another, in the course of committing industrial espionage through "back doors", but if she shifts too far cannot find her way back. Complications ensue when she falls in love, and attempts to keep to the world her lover occupies. There is an easy frankness about Sex and a ...

Maitland, Derek

(1943-2019) UK war photographer and author whose sf Satires – T Minus Tower (1971), about a proposed transfer of the eponymous tower into space as a Space-Habitat hotel, and The Alpha Experience (1974) – exhibit a certain apocalyptic flippancy but failed to target coming UK trends with any real accuracy. [JC]

Taylor, Jeri

(1938-    ) US Television scriptwriter and author, best known as a significant contributor to the Star Trek universe, most notably for the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) series. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification (1991) is a Tie to her own script, televised in two parts in November 1991. Star Trek: Voyager: Mosaic: A Novel (fixup 1996) and Star Trek: Voyager: Pathways (fixup 1998) are Fixups giving a background ...

Young, Michael

(1915-2002) UK sociologist and author whose Family and Kinship in East London (1957), with Peter Willmott (1923-2000), had a seminal effect on community-planning priorities. His sf work, The Rise of the Meritocracy 1870-2033: An Essay on Education and Equality (1958), not only gave the word "meritocracy" to the language but extensively defined it: a meritocracy is an elite whose members are recruited on the basis of merit (largely Intelligence) in a competitive educational system; it is also, ...

Long Night

Term used by Poul Anderson in his Technic History sequence to denote the galactic Dark Ages expected after the fall of a Terran Galactic Empire already mired in Decadence, a narrative of Decline and Fall and the Darkness to come that comprises a central thread in the megatext (see SF Megatext) of the West, as exemplified in the twentieth century by Arnold J Toynbee (1889-1975) in A Study of History (1933-1961 11vols), especially Volumes V and VI (both 1939) where his depiction of "The ...

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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