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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 20 June 2022
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Falk, Lee

Name adopted by the US Comics writer and artist, theatre director and producer whose birth name was Leon Harrison Gross (1911-1999); Falk was the middle name of his stepfather. He is best known in genre circles for creating and scripting the long-running, syndicated newspaper comic strips Mandrake the Magician (first published 11 June 1934) and The Phantom (first published 17 February 1936). The latter proto-Superhero, though lacking true Superpowers, was a strong influence on the tradition of ...

Thomson, Rupert

(1955-    ) UK author, active from around 1987, the abrupt expressionist shiftings of whose novels sometimes allow them to be seen in terms of Fantastika, though this can be a semblance, and an occasional tint of allegory can signal the Mainstream Writer of SF. The infant Moses, protagonist of his first novel, Dreams of Leaving (1987), is floated down a river towards London, the only inhabitant of his isolated village ever permitted to leave it. Funerals of the rich, in The ...

de Mille, William C

(1878-1955) US playwright, film director and screenwriter, older brother of Cecil B DeMille (1881-1959). (Note that although Cecil compressed his name to DeMille, William did not.) He wrote two plays of sf interest: "Food": A Tragedy of the Future in One Act (performed 1912 as Fifty Years from Now; 1914 chap) with Margaret Scott Oliver, a Satire in which food has become so expensive that a marriage may founder on the husband's jealous destruction of an egg given to his wife by a rich admirer; ...

Hodder, Reginald

(1867-1926) New Zealand journalist, later in the UK; author of The Daughter of the Dawn: A Realistic Story of Maori Magic (1903), a Lost Race tale set in the heart of New Zealand, as narrated by a Maori chief; The Vampire (1913) is horror; Ultus, the Man from the Dead (1916), despite its alluring title, is a non-fantastic thriller. [JC]


In sf Terminology, the handgun that blasts had an early place of honour along with the Death Ray, Disintegrator and other generic Ray Guns. Blasters were standard-issue Weapons in early Space Opera, filling the role of six-guns in Westerns. The term seems to have been introduced – as "Blastor" – by Nictzin Dyalhis in "When the Green Star Waned" (April 1925 Weird Tales), which also gives "disintegrator" as a synonym; the more usual spelling is found in Henry Kuttner's "Hollywood on ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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