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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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Anstey, F

Pseudonym of Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856-1934), UK author and humorist, best known for his many contributions to the magazine Punch from the 1880s and for his classic satirical fantasies, in most of which some magical item is introduced into contemporary society, with chaotic consequences. These were widely imitated by many writers, including R Andom, W D Darlington (1890-1979) and Richard Marsh (1857-1915), and thus became the archetypes of a distinctive subgenre of "Ansteyan fantasies". In ...

O'Brien, Flann

Pseudonym of Irish author and civil servant Brian O'Nolan or Ó Nualláin (1911-1966), who also wrote – mainly for his 1940-1966 Irish Times newspaper column "Cruiskeen Lawn" ["The Little Overflowing Jug"] – as Myles na Gopaleen ["Myles of the Little Horses" or "Myles of the Ponies"], sometimes rendered Myles na gCopaleen. The Irish Times columns are classics of often fantastic Humour; various selections have been published [see Checklist below], the first and finest ...

Miller, Walter M, Jr

(1923-1996) US author who before beginning to publish served in World War Two as a pilot, flying combat missions; he then converted to Catholicism, in 1947. Miller began publishing sf with "Secret of the Death Dome" in Amazing in 1951, and over the ten years of his active writing career released about forty more tales, many of which had a deep impact upon the field. During the 1950s, a time when US sf tended to express its new-found interest in character through stories whose rigid formulae ...

Franklin, Alfred

(1830-1917) French librarian, historian and author whose Les Ruines de Paris en 4875: Documents officiels et inédits (1875; trans Brian Stableford as "The Ruins of Paris in 4875" in Investigations of the Future [anth 2012 pod]) describes an expedition in 4875 from New Caledonia to the ruins of Paris (see Ruins and Futurity), which has been destroyed by a great undescribed Disaster, and whose inhabitants seem to have suffered at least cultural Devolution. The anthropologists (see ...


Pseudonym of New Zealand-born UK author Alice Dew-Smith (1859-1949) of A White Umbrella and Other Stories (coll 1895); in the third story, "A Ballet in the Skies", the narrator is taken to the Moon by "flowers". [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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