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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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Space Opera

A popular item of sf Terminology, echoing the practice (dating from the 1920s) of referring to Westerns as "horse operas", and more immediately the term "soap operas" (from 1938) for never-ending Radio series: when Radio was the principal medium of home entertainment in the USA, daytime serials intended for housewives were often sponsored by soap-powder companies, and hence the nickname. "Soap opera" was quickly generalized to refer to any corny domestic drama. The pattern was extended into sf ...

Craig, William

(1929-1997) US historian and author in whose marginally Near Future Technothriller, The Tashkent Crisis (1971), the USSR threatens America and the world with an ultimatum and a new energy-beam Weapon or giant Ray Gun; American agents fight back, destroying the threat with a miniaturized nuclear warhead improbably concealed within a pistol. [JC/DRL]

Crawford, Ned

(?   -    ) UK author whose Naming the Animals: A Haunting (1980) congestedly depicts a rather mild Dystopian future, out of which, freighted in symbol, the protagonist of the book ambivalently imagines a new Eden. [JC]

Beyond Westworld

US tv series (1980). MGM Television for the CBS-TV network. Created by Michael Crichton and Lou Shaw. Produced by John Meredith Lucas and Fred Freiberger. Directors include Ted Post, Paul Stanley, and Don Weis. Writers include David Carren, Howard Dimsdale, and Martin Roth. Cast includes Severn Darden, Nancy Harewood, William Jordan, Jim McMullen, Connie Sellecca and James Wainwright. Five 60-minute episodes, the last two instalments unaired. Colour. / In this follow-up to Crichton's film ...

Nelson, Blake

(1965-    ) US author for Young Adults whose They Came from Below (2007) features Aliens in human guise who emerge from Under the Sea in a desperate last-ditch attempt to persuade Homo sapiens to preserve the oceans, which are dying of Pollution. [JC]

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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