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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 8 August 2022
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Untermeyer, Louis

(1885-1977) US author, poet, critic and prolific anthologist. He is of genre interest for his Parody volume Heavens (coll 1922), whose framing device is an Afterlife fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] in which the unnamed protagonist is offered a choice of 976 heavens including a number of "Literary Realms" themed for particular authors. Of the five actually depicted, "The Heaven of Queer Stars" spoofs G K Chesterton, whose Father Brown-like spokesman scores endless ...

Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle's famous hero Sherlock Holmes (see Icons) was introduced as a scientific detective operating by rigorous logic – but Doyle's master-stroke was to show him through the eyes of his staunch but uncomprehending companion Doctor Watson, providing a human frame for what might have been an arid inspiration. Although Holmes stories did not always fully honour this template description, Holmes himself soon became an inevitable underlier figure for sf Scientists and other ...


Pseudonym of US nurse, professor of nursing, and author Christine Elizabeth Abrahamsen (1916-1995), who wrote at least one Gothic as Kathleen Westcott, Bride of Kilkerran (1972). As Cristabel, she began publishing sf with the florid Veltakin sequence of Planetary Romances: Manalacor of Veltakin (1970) and The Cruachan and the Killane (1970). Her singletons were The Mortal Immortals (1971) and The Golden Olive (1972). All are written in a style that crosses the romance genre with boys' fiction. ...

Shannon, Lizzy

(?   -    ) UK-born actress and author, now a US citizen, of various works, among them some sf romances, in USA for many years; her titles include Tempest Raised (2001), a Planetary Romance set on a lush planet, and involving its heroine in Time Travel riffs; and Time Twist (2009), in which a twentieth-century woman is transported into a distant Near Future Ruined Earth, where she must cope with Aliens eager to Terraform the planet back to normal. [JC]

Willets, Gilson

(1869-1922) US journalist, screenwriter and author of a romantic adventure, The Double Cross: A Romance of Mystery and Adventure in Mexico of To-Day (1910), which incorporates a relatively innocent She figure, and hints of a Lost World in the background. It was filmed with his script as The Mystery of the Double Cross (1917) directed by Louis J Gasnier and William J Parke, a nine-part action serial lasting 350 minutes; the continued-next-week serial structure featured here had been created by ...

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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