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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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The unpleasant human institution of slavery is frequently extrapolated into spacegoing sf futures. One notable instance is Robert A Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy (September-December 1957 Astounding; 1957), which opens with the young protagonist being sold as a slave on a colony world whose Economics revolve around this practice, and closes with him – now free and in a position of some power – working from Earth to oppose the deeply rooted interstellar slave trade. A similar story ...

Spider, The

US Pulp magazine, 118 issues October 1933 to December 1943; monthly until February 1943, bimonthly thereafter. Published by Popular Publications; edited initially by Rogers Terrill until mid-1936 when he was elevated to Editorial Director, and then by a succession of editors until W Ryerson Johnson closed down the final issue. The Spider, one of the hero/villain pulps, began as a straightforward imitation of the highly successful The Shadow, telling of a mysterious caped avenger. The first two ...

Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr

(1922-2007) US author, who signed his name simply Kurt Vonnegut (without the Jr) after 1976. He was a Prisoner of War near the end of World War Two in Dresden from December 1944 to May 1945, surviving the saturation bombing of the city and the subsequent firestorm, basing his most successful novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) [see below] on his experience; he was awarded a Purple Heart on his return to America, normally given to those wounded in active service. He began to write for various ...

Kahn, Katie

Working name of UK executive in the field of digital Technology and author Katie Khan Wood (?   -?   ), whose first novel, Hold Back the Stars (2017), recounts the climax of a Near Future love story whose two protagonists, unable to return to their Spaceship, have only 90 minutes of oxygen left. Below them, planet Earth shows a savage face, seemingly as a consequence of World War Three, though Europe has established a flexible Utopian model for survival, with ...

Čapek, Josef

(1887-1945) Painter, cartoonist, author and playwright born in the former Austria-Hungary of Czech parentage, older brother of Karel Čapek. As a painter he was active from around 1900, his work soon showing Cubist influences, moving in the 1920s towards representational idioms, which he sampled variously; though he published in his own right, his pre-World War One career as a writer was mostly conducted in collaboration with his ultimately more fluent brother, with whom he remained on ...

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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