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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 27 June 2022
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Maison d'Ailleurs, La

"The house of elsewhere", subtitled (in French) "The museum of Utopia, of extraordinary voyages and of science fiction". This establishment in Yverdon, Switzerland, contains about 50,000 items relating to sf, maybe half of them books and magazines, the remainder all sorts of ephemera: Toys, Games, stamps, posters, calendars, etc. Founded in 1975 by Pierre Versins, who donated his celebrated private Collection to it, it was given much-needed financial assistance by the town of Yverdon in 1989, ...

City Beneath the Sea

1. Made-for-tv film (1970; vt One Hour to Doomsday). Twentieth Century-Fox TV Productions for NBC TV. Directed by Irwin Allen. Written by John Meredyth Lucas from a story by Allen. Cast includes Richard Basehart, Robert Colbert, Joseph Cotton, Rosemary Forsyth, Sugar Ray Robinson, Robert Wagner and Stuart Whitman. 100 minutes, cut to 93 minutes. Colour. / Released outside the USA as a feature film called One Hour to Doomsday, this was a pilot for a television series that was never made. In ...

Ralph, James

(1695-1762) American-born historian, controversialist and author, in UK from 1724; his Satirical play, The Astrologer (1744 chap) – remotely based on the mistaken-doubles comedy, Albumazar (1615), by Thomas Tomkis (circa 1580-1634) – targets the tropes and lunacies of what we now call Proto SF, as conveyed through its fatuous protagonists' attempts to make sense of the vision of Life on Other Worlds afforded by a new telescope. [JC]

Oboler, Arch

(1909-1987) US scriptwriter, playwright and author, involved in Radio from the early 1930s; he was extremely prolific in that decade, writing and usually producing an estimated 400 radio plays by 1940. His first script, "Futuristics", was broadcast by NBC in celebration of its parent firm's move to the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan; laced with touches of Satire, the script is a paean to the future as seen through the prism of New York. Oboler's best work was heard on two anthology series. For ...

Varan the Unbelievable

Film (1958; 1962 US). Original Japanese title Daikaijū Baran. Dallas Productions Inc/Toho Company (uncredited)/Crown International Pictures. Produced by Jerry A Baerwitz. Directed by Baerwitz and Ishro Honda (uncredited). Written by Sid Harris from a story by Ken Kuronuma and Shi'ichi Sekizama (uncredited). Cast includes Myron Healey, Clifford Kawada and Tsuruko Kobayashi. 70 minutes. Black and white. / US naval commander James Bradley (Healey) is in charge of a project on an Island ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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