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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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Lynch, Chris

(1962-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Bearing Paul" in Night Terrors: Stories of Shadow and Substance (anth 1996) edited by Lois Duncan; his Young Adult Cyberia sequence beginning with Cyberia (2008) is set in a Near Future "wired" world; the young protagonist, after discovering that his friends – animals with implanted microchips that force them to tell lies – are not themselves happy, revolts, with ramifying consequences. ...

Hofstadter, Douglas

(1945-    ) US academic and computer scientist, currently professor of cognitive science at Indiana University, whose massive popular-science book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979) won a Pulitzer Prize and has influenced sf thinking about Computers and AI. GEB, as it is often abbreviated, explores related Paradoxes of recursion – Hofstadter calls these "strange loops" – in the spheres of Mathematics, Illustration (in particular M C Escher's ...

Barthelme, Donald

(1931-1989) US author known primarily as a surrealist and black humorist. His novels are all Fabulations: Snow White (1967), an absurdist dissection of the fairy tale; The Dead Father (1975), in which the giant figure of a moribund Father is escorted with trauma and ritual to its final resting place; and The King (1990), which transports King Arthur and his knights to World War Two. Barthelme's early collections especially – like Come Back, Dr Caligari (coll 1964), Unspeakable Practices, ...

Susann, Jacqueline

(1918-1974) US author most famous for her first novel, Valley of the Dolls (1966); her only sf is the posthumous Yargo (1979), which, written in the 1950s, tells the tale of a young woman abducted by a UFO actually trying to kidnap Albert Einstein; she falls in love with Yargo, the ruler of the planet Yargo (see Exogamy), but is sent off on Planetary Romance adventures elsewhere after she becomes unendurable. [JC]

Davey, Norman

(1888-1949) UK engineer and author whose Perhaps: A Tale of To-morrow (1914; rev vt Yesterday: A Tory Fairy-Tale 1924) wittily (but also frivolously) describes the Near-Future secession of the Isle of Wight. Although copies of Perhaps exist, there is no clear evidence that the text was officially published; this omission was almost certainly because of the start of World War One. Yesterday presents essentially the same story as fantasy. Davey's other genre works are fantasies, the best known of ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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