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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 9 July 2024
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Irwin, Robert

(1946-2024) UK academic, mediaevalist, professional juggler (briefly) and author whose work in Arabian studies, of importance in itself, underpins the world envisioned in his first and most famous novel, The Arabian Nightmare (1983; rev 1987), which may be the definitive rendering of its central conceit: a mise en abyme-like dream narrative whose protagonist, upon seeming to awaken, only finds himself passing out of one story through a Portal into a deeper dream [for ...

Sorel, Charles

(?1602-1674) French lawyer, secretary to noble houses and author whose large oeuvre contains little that might reflect an inclination toward Proto SF; the 1602 year of birth, often given, would have him publishing multi-volume novels by his late teens, and birth dates in the 1590s have been suggested. Of some interest, however, are three tales which incorporate elements of the Fantastic Voyage, generally with ...

Thomas, Thomas T

(1948-    ) US author who began writing sf with The Doomsday Effect (1986), as by Thomas Wren, which won the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award for best first novel. The novel describes – in terms that anticipated Greg Bear's The Forge of God (1987) and David Brin's Earth (1990) – the effect ...

Imperial Gothic

A term used mainly in literary criticism to describe a complex of motifs, venues and paranoia-inducing utterances whose main burden – that the Western world is under deadly attack from outside its borders – is sometimes narrated in nonfantastic terms, sometimes in terms expressive of Fantastika's not always temperate concern with who rules the planet (see also Gothic SF; Secret Masters). ...

Lewis, Oscar

(1893-1992) US editor and author active from 1912 as an author of magazine stories for boys; not to be confused with the anthropologist Oscar Lewis (1914-1970). His Alternate-History novel, The Lost Years: A Biographical Fantasy (1951), depicts through the recorded reactions of contemporaries the last years of Abraham Lincoln in a world where he was never assassinated. [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. He began to publish work of genre interest with an sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" in Triquarterly for Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959]; he began consistently publishing sf reviews in his "New Fiction" column for the Toronto Star (1966-1967), and later in ...



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