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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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Phillifent, John T

(1916-1976) UK electrical engineer and author of much sf and works in other genres; though he claimed to reserve his best material for publication under his own name; he was, however, probably better known under his pseudonym John Rackham, the name he used for most of his work. [Phillifent and Rackham titles are separated in the Checklist below]. He began writing sf with the Space Puppet series for Pearson's Tit-Bits SF Library as Rackham: Space Puppet (1954 chap), Jupiter Equilateral (1954 ...

Hinz, Christopher

(1951-    ) US author who made a considerable impact with the Paratwa sequence: Liege-Killer (1987) – which won the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Memorial Award for Best First Novel – Ash Ock (1989) and The Paratwa (1991). From the first, the sequence gives off a sense of professional polish and hurry, densely packing a wide variety of 1980s adventure-sf conventions into an intensely realized Ruined Earth setting dominated by Space Habitats, which contain those who ...

Unwin, Stanley

(1911-2002) South African-born broadcaster, comedian and author, in UK from 1914; best-known for his creation of a comically distorted version of English, a gobbledegookish patter not dissimilar to the effect of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", which first appeared in Through the Looking-Glass (1871). The Linguistic distortion is superficial but cumulatively compelling; through its mildly antic effect, a sense of an underlying Absurdist SF sensibility can be detected in The Miscillian Manuscript: ...

Whitmore, Charles

(1945-    ) US author whose Winter's Daughter: The Saying of Signe Ragnhilds-Datter (1984) is set in the Near Future at some point after a nuclear World War Three has failed to end civilization entirely; various strategies for survival are tested in Africa, America and (it is from here that the protagonist speaks) Norway. [JC]


The most dramatic fictional quirks of human memory are its loss or external manipulation, as discussed in the entries for Amnesia and Memory Edit (see also Dream Hacking). Also of occasional sf interest is the phenomenon of photographic or eidetic memory, sometimes treated as a minor Superpower. Among the best-known examples are: the eponym of Jorge Luis Borges's "Funes el memorioso" (June 1942 La Nación; trans Anthony Kerrigan as "Funes the Memorious"), whose gift is something of a ...

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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