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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 24 January 2022
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Time Out of Sequence

The Perception of events in a shuffled or apparently random sequence – as distinct from the simple negative of Time in Reverse – is played for laughs in F Anstey's Tourmalin's Time Cheques (A Farcical Extravagance) (1891; vt The Time Bargain; or, Tourmalin's Cheque Book 1905), where it generates an escalating sense of comic confusion. More usually, the effect disturbingly emphasizes the illusory nature of free will in a deterministic universe. A prime example is Slaughterhouse-Five, ...

Murphy, Derryl

(1963-    ) Canadian author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Father Time" for Tesseracts4 (anth 1992) edited by Michael Skeet and Lorna Toolis, which he assembled with other early work in Wasps at the Speed of Sound (coll 2005). An acute sense of the state of the planet in the very Near Future drives much of this work: a tale like "Day's Hunt" (1996 TransVersions #5) scarifyingly immerses its readers in oceanic waters irretrievably lost to Pollution and ...

Heroic Fantasy

In the Terminology of sf/fantasy readers, this term began in the late 1970s to overtake Sword and Sorcery as the name of the subgenre which we choose – perhaps arbitrarily – to discuss under the latter head. The two terms (which both continue in common but diminished usage) are close but not identical in meaning. However, the nuances that distinguish them differ according to the writer (or blurb-writer) who uses them, though perhaps "Heroic Fantasy" comprehends a greater range of ...

Wilder, W Lee

(1904-1982) European-born US film producer and director, elder brother of director Billy Wilder. His filmmaking career went in a very different direction from his brother's, directing low-budget crime dramas beginning with The Glass Alibi (1946) as well as a series of musical shorts. Of genre interest are his low-budget sf and Horror films Phantom from Space (1953), followed by Killers from Space (1954), and The Snow Creature (1954), all of which he produced and directed. All three were ...

Arnett, Jack

House Name, initially a pseudonym of Mike McQuay, used for the Bantam Book of Justice action-adventure series with intermittent sf content, opening with The Book of Justice #1: Genocide Express (1989). Apparently McQuay wrote one volume (not necessarily the first to appear) and farmed out the rest to others; John J Miller has claimed responsibility for The Book of Justice #3: Death Force (1990). [DRL]

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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