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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 4 July 2022
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McKesson, Charles L

(?   -?   ) US author of Under Pike's Peak; Or, Mahalma, Child of the Fire Father (1898), in which a Lost World is discovered Underground, in the caverns beneath Pike's Peak. The inhabitants are dwarfish but Telepathic, their queen, Mahalma child of the Fire Father, is a "normal" woman who gives her body to the protagonist's rival, in order to save her people, and therefore dies. Her spirit lingers, wistfully. [JC]

Smith, Surrey

Pseudonym of UK playwrights and authors William Dinner (?   -    ) and William Morum (1910-1980) for their fiction; active and prolific in the former capacity from the early 1940s, best known for a mystery drama, The Late Edwina Black (performed 12 July 1949 Ambassadors Theatre, London; 1950 chap). Their Near Future tale Near Future The Village That Wandered (1960) amiably combines sf and fantasy tropes as Titterton, a village on the coast of Devon, breaks ...

Krauzer, Steven M

(1948-    ) US author who wrote some Ties in the nonfantastic Executioner/Marc Bolan sequence as well as some Westerns, and who is of sf interest for Brainstorm (1991), a Young Adult tale featuring an eleven-year old boy with Psi Powers who must escape an inimical government agency. [JC]

Far Future

The dutch sociologist and historian Fred Polak (1907-1985), in De toekomst is verleden tijd ["The Future Is Past Time"] (1955 2vols; trans Elise Boulding as The Image of the Future 1961 2vols; trans cut 1973), identifies two distinct categories of images of the distant future, which he calls the "future of prophecy" and the "future of destiny". Prophets, although they refer to the future, are primarily concerned with the present: they issue warnings about the consequences of present actions and ...


Term used to describe printed works of fiction in which different paths can be followed through the story, leading to multiple endings, and in which some outcomes are considered superior to others, allowing for the possibility of "winning" or "losing" the book. The word itself was apparently coined by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (1982) (see Fighting Fantasy), but has become a generic term for all such works. Two main variants exist, referred to in this ...

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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