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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 27 June 2022
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Latham, Philip

Pseudonym used for his sf by US astronomer Robert Shirley Richardson (1902-1981). He began publishing sf in the magazines with "N Day" (January 1946 Astounding), and continued to 1977, with twenty or so stories in all; many had astronomical themes (see Astronomy). The most anthologized is "The Xi Effect" (January 1950 Astounding), in which Earth is found to be in a segment of the Universe that is contracting without limit – leading to Disaster as the shrinkage eventually makes light ...

Pohl, Frederik

(1919-2013) US man-of-letters and author, professionally involved in the sf field as an editor, literary agent, fan and author since his teens, his first published piece being a poem, "Elegy to a Dead Satellite: Luna" (October 1937 Amazing) as by Elton V Andrews, and his first story proper – the first of well over 200 in an active career of more than seven decades (see Longevity in Writers) – being "Before the Universe" with C M Kornbluth, writing together as S D Gottesman, for ...

Callinan, David

(?   -    ) UK author whose Fortress Manhattan (1995) hectically depicts a Near Future Manhattan (see New York) as an enclave whose internal environment is redolent of Cyberpunk, while beyond the walls Mutants and others clamour for entrance. [JC]


From the earliest days of Proto SF, satire was its prevailing mode, and this inheritance was evident even after sf proper began in the nineteenth century. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines satire as literary work "in which prevailing vices or follies are held up to ridicule". Proto sf is seldom interested in imagining the societies of other worlds or future times for their own sake; most proto sf of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (by, for example, Cyrano de Bergerac, ...

Herter, David

(1963-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Late Mr Havel's Apartment" (in Borderlands 4, anth 1994, edited by Thomas F Monteleone), the interest in Czech life and history in this story proving to shape his later career, though his first novel, Ceres Storm (2000), which is a modern Fantastic Voyage tale that follows a young man across the solar system in his search for the Ur-being of whom he – and his AI companion – are avatars. ...

Langford, David

(1953-    ) UK author, critic, editor, publisher and sf fan, in the latter capacity recipient of 21 Hugo awards for fan writing – some of the best of his several hundred pieces are assembled as Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man (coll 1992 chap US; much exp vt The Silence of the Langford 1996; exp 2015 ebook) as Dave Langford, edited by Ben Yalow – plus five Best Fanzine Hugos and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one ...

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