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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 30 January 2023
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Tractor Beam

Term coined by E E Smith in Spacehounds of IPC (July-September 1931 Amazing; 1947) for the Force-Field equivalent of a rope and grappling iron, used to seize and immobilize or haul in objects encountered in space – typically, mineral ores and Spaceships which may be hostile, damaged or simply docking. The tractor beam has been widely adopted by sf ...

Courtier, S H

Working name of Sidney Hobson Courtier (1904-1974), Australian school-teacher and author who principally wrote crime fiction, often with Australian bush settings and Aboriginal characters. His two sf thrillers for Robert Hale Limited are Into the Silence (1973), in which silence engulfs the Earth and the loss of spoken-word Communication brings chaos; and The Smiling Trip (1975), where a ...

I, Robot

Film (2004). Twentieth Century Fox/Davis Entertainment. Directed by Alex Proyas. Bruce Greenwood. Written by Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman, based on I, Robot (coll 1950) by Isaac Asimov. Cast includes Bridget Moynahan, Will Smith and Alan Tudyk. 115 minutes. Colour. / In the decades since the publication of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot (coll 1950), rumours often appeared of a possible cinematic ...

Sowden, Lewis

(1903-1974) UK-born South African newspaperman and author, in Israel from 1966, whose The Man Who Was Emperor: A Romance (1946) is set in an imaginary country of marginal sf interest. Tomorrow's Comet: A Tale of our own Times (July-August 1949 Blue Book as "Star of Doom"; 1951) deals with the End of the World in psychological terms. [JC/PN]

Geddes, Adrienne

(?   -    ) New Zealand author known only for The Rim of Eternity (1964), an sf novel in which an isolated culture faces, over an increasingly unsettling passage of years, the incursion of realities generated by an Alien presence. [JC]

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 ...

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