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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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Benton, Mike

(?   -    ) US Comics authority who wrote the Taylor History of Comics nonfiction series for the Taylor Publishing Company in the 1990s. Though some are relatively brief at 144-150pp, these heavily illustrated works contain considerable information on the history of the various genres and creators of comics in the US during most of the twentieth century. Horror Comics: The Illustrated History (1991) and Science Fiction Comics: The Illustrated History (1992) ...


The use of drugs, both real and imaginary, is a common theme in sf, notably in Cyberpunk. The topic is discussed in some detail under Perception, and a little under New Wave and Psychology. Film and television treatments of the theme include Altered States (1980), Doomwatch (1970-1972), Liquid Sky (1982) and THX 1138 (1971). A small selection of the many sf authors who have used drug themes is: Brian W Aldiss, Ralph Blum, Karin Boye, William S Burroughs, Don DeLillo, Philip K Dick, Charles ...


A term coined in the 1960s by Karl Werner, referring to techniques for preserving the human body by supercooling. R C W Ettinger's The Prospect of Immortality (1964) popularized the idea that the corpses of terminally ill people might be "frozen down" in order to preserve them until such a time as medical science would discover cures for all ills and a method of resurrecting the dead. Many sf stories have extrapolated the notion. / The preservative effects of low temperatures have been ...

Hurley, Graham

(1946-    ) UK television scriptwriter and producer and author whose first novel, Rules of Engagement (1990; rev 1991), is based on his own 1989 Near Future Television drama, Rules of Engagement (1989 6 episodes), set in the sealed-off English city of Portsmouth just on the eve of World War Three. His later books, mainly the Joe Faraday sequence of crime thrillers, also centre on Portsmouth; all of them are highly competent. [JC]

Kirn, Walter

(1962-    ) US critic and author whose sf novel, The Unbinding (23 June 2006 Slate web; rev 2007), is a Near Future novel about the intricacies and implications of online prying. [JC]

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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