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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 December 2023
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Compton, D G

(1930-2023) UK author, born of parents who were both in the theatre; he increasingly lived in the USA after 1981. As Guy Compton, he published some unremarkable detective novels, beginning with Too Many Murderers (1962), and as by Frances Lynch produced some nonfantastic Gothics throughout his career; but soon turned to sf with tales almost always set in the Near Future, and anatomizing moral dilemmas within that arena: the future is very clearly ...


The past century or so, as the SF Megatext began to form, was a period not markedly friendly to narrative verse in general, and good sf narratives in verse during this period are unsurprisingly not often found. Examples of lyric sf poetry – short poems in which sf tropes and topoi expectably uncover the state of mind of the poet – are much more common, though few of these rank very high in the literatures of the West. When identifiable sf "moves" can ...


Pseudosciences are here defined as belief systems which, though adopting a scientific or quasiscientific terminology, are generally regarded as erroneous or unproven by the orthodox scientific community; frequently they not merely disagree with, or are improbable adjuncts to, accepted science but violate its fundamental tenets; several relevant figures and ideas have elsewhere been sorted under the "techno-occultism" rubric, in terms consistent with their presentation in this entry. They are ...

Dickinson, Peter

(1927-2015) Northern-Rhodesia born author, in UK from 1935, father of John Dickinson; married from 1992 until his death to Robin McKinley, with whom he collaborated on the Elementals fantasy sequence [listed below]; assistant editor of the humorous magazine Punch from 1952 to 1969. Dickinson was initially best known for his detective stories, beginning with the first volume in the ...

Throssell, Ric

Working name of Australian diplomat, actor, playwright and author Richard Prichard Throssell (1922-1999), who during much of his career suffered from Cold War suspicions and Paranoia, a McCarthy-like persecution caused almost entirely by his remaining in contact with his leftwing family; his mother, the author Katharine Susannah Prichard (1883-1969), was a founding member of the Communist Party of Australia. Of sf interest is a ...

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 consistently publishing sf reviews in his "New Fiction" column for the Toronto Star (1966-1967), and sf ...

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