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Blond, square-jawed, musclebound, time-travelling Comic-strip character created for the London Daily Mirror by artist Steve Dowling and BBC producer Gordon Boshell as the UK's answer to Flash Gordon. Scripted by Don Freeman, Garth first appeared, floating ashore on a raft, on 24 July 1943, and soon became a kind of fantasy troubleshooter. In The Seven Ages of Garth (September 1944-January 1946) Freeman introduced Garth's Doctor Zarkov equivalent, Professor Lumiere, whose magic word "karma" allowed Garth to jump bodies (and episodes) at the point of death.The finest scripts were written 1953-1966 by Peter O'Donnell, who introduced Garth's eternal lover Astra in The Last Goddess (1965). Jim Ed...
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(1917-2008) UK author, resident in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death. Born in Minehead, Somerset, after leaving school Clarke came to London in 1936 to work as a civil-servant auditor with HM Exchequer. He was active in fan circles before World War Two, in which he served (1941-1946) as a radar instructor with the RAF, rising to the rank of flight-lieutenant. After the War he entered King's College, London, in 1948 taking his BSc with first-class honours in physics and mathematics. He received the SFWA Grand Master Award in 1986; he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1997; and he was knighted in 1998.
Clarke's strong interest in the frontiers of science was evident earl...
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(1941- ) US musician, best known as one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. During the 1970s, when his band was in temporary abeyance, Kantner recorded a sf concept album Blows Against the Empire (1970), released as by "Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship" (a usage that predated the formation of the group of that name by four years). The album concerns a group of freedom-fighters (they believe in "free minds, free bodies, free dope, free music") who hijack a governmental starship. As a concept it gets muddied both by a tendency to lapse back into contemporary anti-Nixon outrage ("Hey Dick! Pay your dues and get out of the way!") and by the fact that Kantner's partner, songwriter and vo...
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For a long time Mars seemed to be the most likely abode for life outside the Earth, and for that reason it has always been of cardinal importance in sf. Its surface, unlike that of Venus, exhibits markings visible (albeit unclearly) with the aid of optical telescopes, and has a distinct red colour. Early observers interpreted what they saw in terms of analogies with terrestrial phenomena: blue-green tracts interrupting the red were thought to be oceans or vegetation; the polar caps, seen to wax and wane with the seasons, were generally held to be of snow and ice; changing patterns of light and dark suggested cloud cover or forests. The presence of life – including intelligent, humanoid life...
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