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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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Thor: the Dark World

Film (2013). Marvel Studios. Directed by Alan Taylor. Written by Christopher L Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely; story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat. Cast includes Kat Dennings, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, René Russo and Stellan Skarsgârd. 112 minutes. Colour, 3D (converted). / Malekith the Accursed (Eccleston), lord of Svartalfheim, is defeated by the forces of Asgard and conceals a ...

Armstrong, Peter

(?   -    ) Zimbabwean author, some of whose work is of sf interest. Hawks of Peace (1979) depicts an independent Near Future Zimbabwe from Armstrong's white settler perspective: devastation and violence accompany the installation of Black rule. In Cataclysm (1980), also set in the Near Future, the world after decades of Ecological degradation and Pollution suffers a catastrophic rise in ocean levels due to melting ice and other Disasters (see Climate Change); ...


Minor European prog-rock group founded by Belgian/Swiss musician Joel Vandroogenbroeck. Psychonaut (1973) seems to develop some sort of Inner Space sf theme, although the lyrics are hard to follow. The concept-album Celestial Ocean (1974) gives uninspiring musical life to the genre cliché that the Ancient Egyptians were also interstellar astronauts (see Pseudoscience). Adventure (1980) and Voyage (1982) are wholly instrumental works, although with a certain sf feel to them. The word that ...

Butler, David

(1936-    ) UK politician, IT consultant and author whose first novel, The Men Who Mastered Time (1986), is a stately Scientific Romance whose protagonist very calmly traces the competing goals of two colleagues who have co-invented a Time Machine. Some hints contained in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan; Or, a Vision in a Dream: A Fragment" (written 1797; as a title-poem of coll 1816 chap) lead to the correct conclusion that one of them has via Time Travel himself ...

McConnell, Frank

(1942-1999) US academic and critic, a professor of English at Northwestern University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, who wrote extensively on sf and many other subjects; his writings included a regular media column for Commonweal magazine and four detective novels, and he served four times on the committee that awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work in the genre included editing The Time Machine/The War of the Worlds: A Critical Edition (omni 1977) by H G Wells, an ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...

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