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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 21 January 2022
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Wise, Robert

(1914-2005) US film director, who began his career as a film-cutter at RKO Studios and by 1939 was a fully qualified editor. He worked on Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941) and also – at the studio's insistence when the director was safely out of the country – directed a few scenes in Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). He then worked with the Val Lewton unit at RKO, first as editor, then as director. He made three films for Lewton – Curse of the Cat People (1944; ...

Harrington, Alan

(1919-1997) US author, author of The Revelations of Dr Modesto (1955), a novel of ideas about a system called Centralism which brings too much luck, and The Immortalist (1969), an unfictionalized Utopia which describes a world free of death. His sf novel, Paradise 1 (1977), set in the twenty-first century, also tells of potential Immortality and of a continuing struggle to wrest humanity free of its contract with death. [JC]

Sinykin, Sheri Cooper

(1950-    ) US author of fantasies for the Young Adult market (not listed below), among which is a tale of sf interest, A Matter of Time (1998), whose young protagonist is transported by Time Machine back to her grandparents' era, where she discovers that they are real folk like her. Her new-found family values persist after she returns to the present. [JC]

Sense of Wonder

A term used to describe the sensation which, according to the Cliché of fan criticism that goes back at least to the 1940s, good sf should inspire in the reader. In Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (1979) Darko Suvin summed up the attitude of many critics by describing the term as "another superannuated slogan of much SF criticism due for a deserved retirement into the same limbo as extrapolation". And yet ... / "Sense of wonder" is an interesting critical phrase, for it defines sf ...

Lights Out

US tv series (1946-1952). Sponsored by the Admiral Corporation, others, for NBC-TV. Produced by Arch Oboler, Herbert B Swope Jr and Ernest Walling. Directors included William Corrigan, Kingman T Moore, Grey Lockwood and Delbert Mann. Writers included Fred Coe, George Leffert, Ernst Kinroy and A J Russell. Narrators: Jack La Rue, Frank Gallop. 160 30-minute episodes. Black and white. / This anthology series was among the first regular Television series to air after World War Two, and was ...

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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