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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 27 June 2022
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SF Megatext

Science fiction is written in a kind of code, a difficult vernacular learned through an apprenticeship. Its decoding depends importantly on access to a megatext – the huge body of established moves or reading protocols that the reader learns through immersion in many hundreds of sf short stories and novels (and, with significantly less sophistication, from movies, television episodes, and games). The sf megatext comprises a virtual encyclopedia and specialized dictionary. For a story to ...

Davis-Goff, Sarah

(?   -    ) Irish journalist, publisher and author whose first novel, the Young-Adult Last Ones Left Alive (2019), envisions an Ireland at some point in the moderately distant Near Future, at a point where the planetary Disaster – a Zombie apocalypse probably due in particular to scientific research gone wrong, and to Climate Change and Ecological degradation in general – has created a near-Ruined Earth landscape. The protagonist treks through this ...

Lumley, Benjamin

(1811-1875) Canadian-born lawyer, entrepreneurial opera manager and author, who wrote at least once as Hermes; in UK from well before 1832, by which point he had permanently changed his surname from Levy. His career in opera, from 1842 to about 1863, was marked by some scandal (not unusual for the context) and his introduction of nearly thirty operas to Britain, including several by Giuseppe Verdi. His career as a novelist began late, with Sirenia; or, Recollections of a Past Existence (1863) ...


US death metal band based in Seattle, Washington, which unusually focused on sf, fantasy and horror authors in short songs homaging and providing some sketchy bio-bibliographical information on their subjects. The original 1996 band members were Jeff McNulty (guitar), Jake Stratton (vocals), Zachary Orgel (bass) and a drum machine subsequently replaced by Rod Karp (drums) and later by Brent Carpenter (drums). Their demo tape Swords and Deviltry (1996) – taking its title from a Fritz ...

Wood, Naomi

(1983-    ) UK author whose first novel, The Godless Boys (2011), is an Alternate History set in a Religion-dominated 1986 England; the Jonbar Point instigating the tale is unclear, though perhaps the absence of any reference to World War Two may be an index. The tale is mostly set on an offshore Island, where atheists have been exiled ever since the 1940s. Wood's second novel, Mrs Hemingway (2014), is nonfantastic. [JC]

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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