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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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Psi Powers

A name given to the full spectrum of mental powers studied by the Pseudoscience of parapsychology, and a common item of sf Terminology. In his book From Anecdote to Experiment in Psychical Research (1972), Robert Thouless claims that he and Dr B P Wiesner invented the term, prior to its use in sf circles, as being less liable to suggest a pre-existing theory than the term "Extra Sensory Perception" (or ESP). The term was adopted into sf during the "psi boom" which John W Campbell Jr promoted in ...

Gentle, Mary

(1956-    ) UK author who began publishing with a fantasy for young adults, A Hawk in Silver (1977; rev 1985), and who came to general notice with her Orthe sequence – Golden Witchbreed (1983) and Ancient Light (1987), both assembled, with a linked story, as Orthe: Chronicles of Carrick V (omni 2002) – which, despite the fantasy ring of the first title, is sf. The protagonist of both volumes, a woman diplomat/entrepreneur in the complexly defined employ of an ...

Reluctant Astronaut, The

Film (1967). Universal Pictures. Directed by Edward Montagne. Written by James Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. Cast includes Joan Freeman, Don Knotts, Leslie Nielsen, Arthur O'Connell and Jesse White. 102 minutes. Colour. / Goaded by his overbearing father Buck Fleming (O'Connell), who wants his son to carry on the proud tradition of his own heroics in World War II, timid Roy Fleming (Knotts) reluctantly applies to become an astronaut, even though he is so fearful of heights that he ...

Tangerine Dream

German electronic music group, founded by Edgar Froese in 1967. Their line-up has changed a good deal over the years – Klaus Schulze was a member for a time – although as of 2007 the group comprises Froese and musician Thorsten Quaeschning (1963-    ). Their first release, Electronic Meditation (1970) owes much to musique concrète, using cut-and-pasted audio tape to create its effects, and although wholly instrumental (Tangerine Dream albums do not usually ...

Smith, Curtis C

(1939-    ) US critic and bibliographer, most of whose work in the first category has focused upon two authors: Olaf Stapledon, beginning with essays like "William Olaf Stapledon: Saint and Revolutionary" for Extrapolation in 1971, and culminating in Olaf Stapledon: A Bibliography (1984) with Harvey J Satty; and upon Mack Reynolds, culminating in Welcome to the Revolution: The Literary Legacy of Mack Reynolds (1996), which focuses on Reynolds as a writer of Utopias. He is ...

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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