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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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Cook, Paul

(1950-    ) US poet and author whose infrequent sf stories began with "The Character Assassin" in Other Worlds #1 (anth 1979) edited by Roy Torgeson. In his first novel, Tintagel (1981), a virus transports its victims, by actualizing their response to Music, into fantasy worlds into which the protagonist, who is immune to the emotional effects of music, must enter in order to rescue them. Duende Meadow (1985) depicts the Post-Holocaust return of North Americans from ...

Chalmers, Garet

Pseudonym of UK author Margaret Simpson Chalmers (1939-    ), whose two sf novels for Robert Hale Limited are A Legend in His Own Deathtime (1978), set in a Far-Future City deeply sunk in Decadence, and Homo-Hetero (1980), portraying the dilemma of two lovers of opposite gender in a Dystopia where heterosexuality has been criminalized. Decades later Chalmers returned to sf publishing with the romantic Space Opera Loki (2014 ebook), announced as the opening volume of The ...

Big Dumb Objects

A jocular though affectionate piece of sf Terminology which seems to have been coined by Roz Kaveney in her retrospective essay "Science Fiction in the 1970s" (June 1981 Foundation), with specific reference to the titular Macrostructure of Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970). The term became fairly commonplace in sf circles to describe megalotropic sf, and indeed was the primary headword for the thematic subgenre in the second edition of this encyclopedia. In Sunstorm (2005) by Arthur C Clarke and ...

Burnside, John

(1955-    ) Scottish poet, journalist and author, active from the mid-1980s. He is of sf interest for Havergey (2017), a Near Future Utopia set on the eponymous Scottish Island in 2056, a few decades after a series of planet-wide Disasters, mostly in the form of plagues, has reduced the world's population by 90%. The visitor to Havergey, who is conducted through its Gaia-influenced ideal society in traditional fashion (the tale is intermittently stiff-kneed, as typical of ...


Miniature models based Wargame (2002). WizKids. Designed by Jordan Weisman, Seth Johnson. / HeroClix is a Collectible Miniatures Game based on Superhero Comics. Players purchase prepainted figures and then assemble teams with which to act out superpowered battles on printed maps. The figures are ingeniously designed, using a dial in the base of each character which is turned (or "clicked") to indicate damage taken, automatically changing the combat statistics displayed. The game mechanics ...

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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