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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 17 January 2022
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A logical contradiction or seeming contradiction. The most famous in sf are the many forms of Time Paradox and the so-called Fermi Paradox concerning our continuing lack of expected (according to certain arguments) First Contact with Aliens. Also frequently cited is the "twins paradox" of Relativity. / Logical paradoxes – like the traditional statement of Epimenides the Cretan that "All Cretans are liars." – are generally regarded as trifling verbal games. They are routinely ...

Burkett, William R, Jr

(1943-    ) US author and journalist. He began publishing sf with Sleeping Planet (July-September 1964 Analog; 1965), which very competently tells a hard-edged tale of conflict between the small Terran Federation and the huge Llralan Empire. The Llralans, having undeserved access to a narcotic dust, spray the Earth, putting all but a very few humans to sleep (see Invasion); in the best Astounding manner – the book's resemblance to the work of Eric Frank Russell is ...

King, John Robert

(1948-    ) UK author whose Bruno Lipshitz and the Disciples of Dogma (1976) rather uneasily juggles a number of ingredients in a complex plot: an Alien invasion, a strange Religion, interpersonal conflicts and dollops of adventure. [JC]

Wratislaw, A C

(1862-1938) UK member of the British diplomatic corps and author in whose comic sf tale, King Charles & Mr Perkins (1931), a Time Machine transports Perkins to Restoration England and retrieves him just before he would have been executed. [JC]

Christopher, Edgar Earl

(?   -?   ) US author of The Invisibles (1903), narrated in retrospect from the Near Future, as an American-based secret society, The Invisible Hand, advances its plot to overthrow the Czarist government of Russia, aided by various Inventions of its Scientist membership, including an advanced submarine, which has been constructed by the Invisibles's leader, a Frenchman with Psi Powers whose resemblance to Jules Verne's Captain Nemo is not made less cartoonish 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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