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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 17 June 2024
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O'Reilly, John

(1906-1981) US journalist and war correspondent who wrote The Glob (18 February 1952 Life Magazine; exp 1952 chap), an explanation of the theory of Evolution and the Origin of Man, couched in fictional form for younger readers as the life-story of the eponymous creature who crawls out of the swamp and becomes, by stages, Homo sapiens. The earlier pages have some distant relationship to ...

Nichols, Walter

(?   -    ) UK author of Simon Magus (1947), essentially an historical novel, though at one point suggests that – more than simply levitating, as the feared and revered gnostic magician was reputed to do – Magus is actually responsible for the Invention of an Airship. [JC]

Romilus, Arn

A Curtis Warren House Name used by Brian Holloway for one novel and by Denis Hughes for two. [JC/DRL]

Prime Directive

Item of Terminology popularized through the original television Star Trek, in which the Prime Directive – also known as Starfleet General Order #1 – prohibits interference with the "normal" development of a planetary or other culture; inevitably this is violated several times in the series and its sequels. Jack Williamson first introduced the term to sf in "With Folded Hands ..." ...

Fast, Howard

(1914-2003) US author best known for his work outside the sf field: historical novels under his own name, and detective novels and thrillers as by E V Cunningham. The Unvanquished (1942) and Spartacus (1951), both signed with his own name, remain perhaps his most familiar titles. He began publishing sf with "Wrath of the Purple" for Amazing in October 1932, about a blob (see Biology) whose growth is unstoppable ...

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, Kenneth Bulmer, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its ...

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