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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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Gove, Philip Babcock

(1902-1972) US academic, noted in later life for his editorship of the Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961), which was heavily attacked for its "permissive" retreat from the prescriptive authority of its predecessors; less controversially, he is of sf interest for The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction: A History of its Criticism and a Guide for its Study, with an Annotated Check List of 215 Imaginary Voyages from 1700 to 1800 (1941). Though in no sense a book about sf per se, it ...


A logical contradiction or seeming contradiction. The most famous in sf are the many forms of Time Paradox and the so-called Fermi Paradox concerning our continuing lack of expected (according to certain arguments) First Contact with Aliens. Also frequently cited is the "twins paradox" of Relativity. / Logical paradoxes – like the traditional statement of Epimenides the Cretan that "All Cretans are liars." – are generally regarded as trifling verbal games. They are routinely ...

Carter, Angela

(1940-1992) UK author best known for her work outside the sf field, though all her novels and tales were characterized by an expressionist freedom of reference to everyday "reality" (see Magic Realism) which often emerges as fantasy. She won the John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize for her second novel, The Magic Toyshop (1967), and the Somerset Maugham Award for Several Perceptions (1968). Her first tale to engage in a recognizably sf displacement of reality, Heroes and Villains (1969), does so ...

Ridley, Frank A

The usual working name of UK politician, freethinker and author Francis Ambrose Ridley (1897-1994), most of whose books were on historical subjects. The Green Machine (1926) as by F H Ridley, though clearly cavalier in its treatment of science – presenting as it does the eponymous bicycle as a Spaceship capable of interplanetary travel – interestingly sends its protagonist to tour a crowded solar system, landing first on Mars, where he finds an advanced civilization (see Life on ...

MacAuley, Robie

(1919-1995) US author, active as a non-genre story writer from 1947 but almost certainly best known for his first novel, The Disguises of Love (1952). His second, A Secret History of Time to Come (1979), which is sf (see Mainstream Writers of SF), describes in quasi-pastoral terms a balkanized America (see Ruined Earth) some centuries after race conflicts had instigated World War Three; various Ruins-and-Futurity and cultural Amnesia tropes are evoked in a proliferation of overgrown, ...

Langford, David

(1953-    ) UK author, critic, editor, publisher and sf fan, in the latter capacity recipient of 21 Hugo awards for fan writing – some of the best of his several hundred pieces are assembled as Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (coll 1992 chap US; much exp vt The Silence of the Langford 1996; exp 2015 ebook) as Dave Langford, edited by Ben Yalow – plus five Best Fanzine Hugos and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one ...

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