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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 8 August 2022
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Living Worlds

The notion that a planet might be a living creature is a rather startling one; indeed, it was initially used purely for its shock value. In R A Kennedy's remarkable philosophical extravaganza The Triuneverse (1912), Mars begins to reproduce by binary fission and its daughter cells devour much of the solar system. In "When the World Screamed" (25 February-3 March 1928 Liberty; April-May 1928 Strand) by Arthur Conan Doyle a hole is drilled through the Earth's "skin" and the living flesh within ...

Berryman, John

(1916-1988) US author and economist who was chief executive officer of a hardware wholesale company; author of some two dozen stories, beginning with "Special Flight" for Astounding in May 1939 and ending with "The Big Dish" (November 1986 Analog). His most anthologized story is "BEROM" (January 1951 Astounding), in which initially incomprehensible visiting Aliens prove to be speaking in a UK commercial telegraph code of the 1920s that they picked up via radio (see Linguistics). "The Trouble ...

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

1. Film (1932). Paramount. Produced and directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Written by Samuel Hoffenstein, Percy Heath, based on Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Cast includes Rose Hobart, Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March. 98 minutes, cut to 90 minutes, cut to 81 minutes. Black and white. / While Stevenson's suggestion is that civilization may be only skin-deep, his tale of a decent, prim society doctor, Dr Jekyll, who transforms himself with a new Drug ...

Sapien, Nick

(?   -    ) US author whose first sf novel, Drosophila (2005), explores a traditional sf topos – the society where social strata are determined by IQ tests, in this case administered at birth by an "IQ machine" – and whose protagonist, employed in Genetic Engineering, smells a rat. Truth City (2011) similarly focuses on a "Truth Machine" which is designed to creat Utopia. [JC]

Flowers for Algernon

One of the most widely adapted SF stories, Flowers for Algernon (April 1959 F&SF; exp 1966) by Daniel Keyes charts the progress of retarded Charlie/Charly, who develops a powerful Intelligence becomes a genius, and then slowly reverts to his original condition, after an only partially successful experimental treatment. Algernon, a white mouse, was Charlie's predecessor in testing the new Uplift treatment; Charlie becomes very fond of him and identifies with him. The story is known ...

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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