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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 21 January 2022
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Stradling, Matthew

Pseudonym of Irish author Martin Francis Mahony (1831-1882), whose "Cheap John's" Auction: A Narrative in Three Parts (1871 chap) recasts the Battle of Dorking scenario, in allegorical form; the resulting tale treats defeated Britain without much sympathy. [JC]

Boulle, Pierre

(1912-1994) French author who trained as an electrical engineer and spent eight years in Malaysia as a planter and soldier. His experience of the Orient permeated much of his early work, which was generally not sf; Le pont sur la rivière Kwaï (1952; trans Xan Fielding as The Bridge on the River Kwai 1954) remains his best-known novel. Boulle uses moral fable to pinpoint human absurdities, and his relatively large body of work in the sf genre is a good illustration of this method. La ...

Lampton, Chris

(1950-    ) US author who began writing sf with "The Most Dangerous Man in the World" for Void in 1975 with David F Bischoff, also collaborating with Bischoff on his first novel, The Seeker (1976); he continued his short active career with two further competent sf adventures, Cross of Empire (1976) and Gateway to Limbo (1979). [JC]

Space Sim

Term used to denote a form of Videogame in which the player is commander or (typically) pilot and sole crew of their own Spaceship. The behaviour of the spacecraft generally resembles that of a World War Two era fighter aircraft more closely than it does that of any likely actual space vehicle; as in the Star Wars films, accuracy in this area does not necessarily add to the enjoyment. Two main variants exist: the space combat game and the space exploration game. There are also a limited number ...

Proto SF

Meaningful use of the term "proto science fiction" obviously depends on one's Definition of the term "science fiction"; indeed, the quest for sf's literary ancestry and "origins" is as much a dimension of the problem of definition as a backward extrapolation of the History of SF. If by sf we mean labelled or Genre SF, everything published before 1926 would become proto sf; but Hugo Gernsback clearly believed that he was merely attaching a name to a genre which already existed – he ...

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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