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 more than 17,600 entries are free to read 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 see what links to the current entry and to identify contributors' initials, click the Incoming/Citation button at the top of the entry.

Del Martia, Astron

Tagged: Author | House name

A House Name invented by publisher Stephen Frances for his second publishing house, the self-named S D Frances, and used there by John Russell Fearn on The Trembling World (1949), in which relics of an ancient Alien civilization are found in a valley of stone statues in Brazil; it is the best of the Del Martia titles. The name was then sold on to Gaywood Press, which used it for three more tales: Dawn of Darkness (1951 chap), Space Pirates (1951) and Interstellar Espionage (1952). The latter story features a security officer called Dog who appears also in Spawn of Space (1951) by Franz Harkon, an unattributed pseudonym. A fifth Del Martia story was advertised but never published, although th...


Tagged: International

The history of France's relationship with sf is one of long flirtation, marked through the centuries by episodic outbursts of passion and, in recent times, by an increasing shift from authorship to readership, from the active to the passive role, as more and more people become avid consumers of the US/UK sf tradition. A few remarkable French writers of sf have emerged, but, although the 1970s were an active period for French sf, no truly indigenous school of writing has yet taken shape.A quest for "great ancestors" in the corpus of French literature would be endless. Many texts – some vintage classics, some long-forgotten oddities – show that Fantastic Voyages, the search for Utopia, and spe...

2000 Plus

Tagged: Radio

US Radio series (1950-1952; vt 2000+; vt Two Thousand Plus). Created by Sherman H Dryer (1913-1989) for the Mutual Broadcasting System. Produced by Robert Weenolsen (1900-1979). Written by Dryer and Weenolsen. Announcer: Ken Marvin. Uncertain number of 30-minute episodes. Perhaps 100 instalments were produced; 32 are known to have survived. This may have been the first US adult sf Radio drama anthology series, debuting one month ahead of its better-known contemporary Dimension X (1950-1951). All episodes were original stories rather than adaptations of published works. Various sources indicate that the quality ranged from routine to excellent, although with most episodes now missing, it is...


Tagged: Theme

According to tradition (though many prefer a more mystical interpretation), the great goal of those proto-Scientists the alchemists was the transmutation of elements – specifically of base metals, usually lead, into gold. Examples of gold-making facilitated by sf Inventions rather than the devices of fantasy include J B Harris-Burland's The Gold Worshipers (1906); Arthur Conan Doyle's The Doings of Raffles Haw (1891), whose titular inventor can transmute through the entire gamut of elements; "World Wreckers" (November 1908 Cavalier) by Frank Lillie Pollock, the wrecked world being that of Economics; Victor MacClure's Ultimatum: A Romance of the Air (1924; vt The Ark of the Covenant: A Romanc...

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