Welcome to the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls (emeritus) and Graham Sleight (managing). All the 17,000+ entries are free online. A few samples appear below. Click here for the Introduction and more on the text; here for Frequently Asked Questions; here for Advice to Students on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more on searching here) or browse the menu categories to the right of the SFE logo. To find what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/Citation button.

Morris, Ralph

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of the unidentified author (?   -?   ) of A Narrative of the Life and Astonishing Adventures of John Daniel ... Taken from his own Mouth, by Mr Ralph Morris [for full title and vts see Checklist] (1751), in which Daniel is shipwrecked on an Island south of Java, his industrious Robinsonade life being transformed when his companion turns out to be a woman, with whom he has eleven children; as the children grow, Sex issues are resolved by incest. One of Daniel's son Jacob's Inventions is a flying machine capable of Space Flight; father and son undertake a realistically-described Fantastic Voyage to the Moon, where they encounter an Alien civilization, and an ur-Food Pill in the shape...

Ballantine Books

Tagged: Community

US publishing company founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine (1916-1995), who had previously helped found Bantam Books, and Betty Ballantine (1919-    ); in 2002 Betty Ballantine received an SFWA President's Award to honour the fruits of their long career. For the first six months, at the beginning of that career, they ran Ballantine Books from their apartment. Although it was a general publisher, an important priority was the prestigious sf list, the first of its kind in paperback, with numerous original works, many of which were – until 1958 – published simultaneously as hardbacks. Ballantine Books' first sf novel was The Space Merchants (July-August 1952 Galaxy as "Gravy Planet"; 1953) by Fred...


Tagged: Theme

Futuristic fiction in the UK was given a tremendous boost by the success of George T Chesney's clever piece of propaganda, The Battle of Dorking (May 1871 Blackwood's Magazine; 1871 chap), which put the case for army reform and rearmament by offering a dramatic illustration of the ease with which the UK might fall to an invading German army (see Battle of Dorking). This became the foundation-stone of a subgenre of Future-War stories whose history is described in I F Clarke's excellent Voices Prophesying War 1763-1984 (1966; rev 1992). Significant exercises in similar alarmism published in the run-up to World War One included The Great War in England in 1897 (1894) by William Le Queux, The Ri...

World War III

Tagged: TV

US tv mini-series (1982). David Greene Productions for NBC-TV. Produced by Bruce Lansbury. Directed by Boris Sagal and David Greene. Written by Robert L Joseph. Cast includes Cathy Lee Crosby, Rock Hudson, Brian Keith and David Soul. 200 minutes. Colour. In 1987, the Soviet Union invades Alaska in retaliation for the grain embargo imposed by the US in 1980; the plan is to capture the Alaskan oil pipeline as a bargaining point to force the lifting of the embargo. The US President (Hudson) and Soviet Premier (Keith) try to keep the situation from spiralling out of control into full-scale war, but when it seems these diplomatic efforts could succeed, rogue elements in the Soviet military assas...

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