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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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Tale of Circulation

In the eighteenth century, tales tracing the circulation of an object from its original manufacture or discovery through various owners in various walks of life were not uncommon. A cumulative vision of life in contrasting regions of the world was normally achieved, often serving as a natural engine for Satire, with this category of tale normally focusing on the figures and scenes encountered, not the object in transit. The only example of real Proto SF interest may be Tobias Smollett's The ...

Doughty, Charles M

(1843-1926) UK explorer and author whose Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888) profoundly influenced T E Lawrence (1888-1935), among others. The increasingly difficult, archaic language of Doughty's later work, a series of book-length poems, as well as the austerity of their arguments, has kept them from as wide acclaim as his great work on Arabia, which was not only hypnotically written, but also deeply reliable as an anthropological and geographical dissection of a virtually unknown land. His ...

Frazee, Steve

(1909-1992) US scriptwriter and author, usually of Westerns, whose sf novel, The Sky Block (1953), is a Near Future thriller set in the Rocky Mountains. [JC]

Bennett, Gary L

(1940-    ) US physicist and author, author of at least two technical papers in collaboration with Robert L Forward, and of many pieces attacking American fundamentalism in its attempts to dismantle Evolutionary science; his sf novel, The Star Sailors (1980), deals with the conflict between a peaceful galactic civilization which is threatened by another, divisive galactic culture. Faster Than Light travel, on which Bennett has also published scientific papers, is a key ...


Videogame series (1988). Infocom. / The Infocomics are a line of Comics which were sold as Videogames. Their plots are fully determined in advance, but at various points the reader can switch to a different character's view of the story; multiple readings are required to follow the entire plot. While their visual design and writing are generally unimpressive, the Infocomics are of some structural interest as an early form of computer-mediated narrative, with a fixed story which could be ...

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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