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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.

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Mendham, Clement A

(1859-1941) UK civil engineer and author of a Lost Race tale, A Buried Mystery (1898), in which an ancient settlement is discovered in South America; the protagonist lives there a while, soon finding a maiden sufficiently white to marry. [JC]

Avallone, Michael

(1924-1999) US author active since the early 1950s under a number of names in various genres, most active in the 1960s. Although he began publishing genre fiction with "The Man Who Walked on Air" (September 1953 Weird Tales), and though some stories of mild interest appear in Tales of the Frightened (coll 1963; vt Boris Karloff Presents Tales of the Frightened 1973) (see also Lyle Kenyon Engel), his sf is comparatively limited in amount and extremely borderline in nature, usually being ...

Fearing, Kenneth

(1902-1961) US poet and author, who supported himself in early years in part by writing softcore pornography as by Kirk Wolff, and whose early renown as a poet faded perceptibly even before his death; he is now known mainly for mysteries like The Big Clock (1946), a tale whose atmosphere adumbrates the film-noir tonality of later US fantasy. Fearing's only sf novel proper is Clark Gifford's Body (1942), which gravely and literately portrays a Near-Future US civil war, its thirty point-of-view ...

Frakes, Randall

(1947-    ) US author of two Terminator film Ties, The Terminator (1985) with Bill Wisher and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), respectively novelizing The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). [JC/DRL]

Optimism and Pessimism

In the most simplistic version of the History of SF, sf was always (and rightly) an optimistic literature until the New Wave came along in the 1960s and spoiled everything. This was at best a very partial truth, being only remotely applicable to Genre SF and not at all to Mainstream sf. / In the mainstream, not even the work of individual authors could be categorized as simply either optimistic or pessimistic. Both Jules Verne and H G Wells took a darker view of the future as they became ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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