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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.

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Arrested Development

Term used in this encyclopedia for the not uncommon scenario whereby humanity's perceived failure to realize its potential – assumed by John W Campbell Jr and others to be boundless – results from externally imposed shackles whose recognition can amply justify Paranoia. Removal of these constraints is likely to trigger a more or less traumatic Conceptual Breakthrough. Though Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980) wrote that "the secret of eternal youth is arrested development", this ...

Weis, Margaret

(1948-    ) US author and games publisher best known for Fantasy series [not listed below], in particular the extensive Dragonlance sequence of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Game-based Ties beginning with Dragons of Autumn Twilight (1984) with Tracy Hickman (1955-    ). Of sf interest are two short linked series of Space Operas: the Star of the Guardians tetralogy beginning with The Lost King (1990), and the collaborative Knights of the Black ...

Gunn, James E

(1923-2020) US author, critic and teacher, born in Kansas City and educated at the University of Kansas, where he worked and taught – ultimately as professor of English and journalism and Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, now the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction – from 1958 to 2010, and where he remained Professor Emeritus until his death. Throughout his academic career, he published considerable sf criticism, beginning with excerpts from his MA ...

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

Term used to describe a form of Massively Multiplayer Online Game with gameplay resembling that of a Computer Role Playing Game. Players create characters with abilities distinct from those of their makers, and use them to explore a shared fictional world and cooperate or compete with each other to fight the enemies they find there. MMORPGs differ from Computer Role Playing Games both by allowing many players to enter the same Online World and in their general absence of narrative structure; ...

Wallace, Edgar

(1875-1932) UK playwright, editor and author, father of Bryan Edgar Wallace; he is best known for his many thrillers, though he was also variously active as an sf writer from the beginning of his active career: the Just Men thriller sequence features occasional sf or Technothriller elements, such as a vast revolutionary movement's use of an Airship to bomb London in The Council of Justice (1908) – foiled by a Just Man's trained hawks, which are equipped with spurs to puncture the gasbags ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...



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