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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 24 January 2022
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Horrors of Spider Island

Film (1959, released 1960; vt The Body in the Web; vt It's Hot in Paradise). Produced by Gaston Hakim and Wolf C Hartwig. Directed by Fritz Böttger (credited as Jamie Nolan). Written by Böttger, Eldon Howard and Albert G Miller. Cast includes Alex D'Arcy, Helga Franck, Dorothee Parker (credited as Norma Townes) and Barbara Valentin. 89 minutes, sometimes cut to 82 minutes. Black and white. / Nightclub owner Gary (D'Arcy) interviewing assorted women for his exotic dance troupe in ...

Evans, Christopher

(1931-1979) UK psychologist and computer scientist perhaps best known for his nonfiction books Cults of Unreason (1973) – a witty and surprisingly sympathetic study of various aspects of Pseudoscience, in particular UFO cults and Scientology – and The Mighty Micro: The Impact of the Computer Revolution (1979; rev vt The Mighty Micro: The Impact of the Micro-Chip Revolution 1980). His enthusiasm for sf brought him into contact with the field at several points; he was billed as ...


Although the concept of "decadence", meaning the state of decay to which an institution has fallen after a long period of prosperity, can be dated to the early 1500s, the more modern sense, of an entire culture succumbing to an enervating lack of vitality (or an indulgence in sloth or sensual pleasures), began to emerge only in the nineteenth century. The belief that cultures eventually fall into a debilitating (and usually irreversible) sickness owes much to The History of the Decline and Fall ...

Tibbles, Thomas Henry

(1840-1928) US advocate of Native American rights and author who is of sf interest for a Utopia, The American Peasant: A Timely Allegory (1892) with Elia Wilkinson Peattie writing as Another [see her entry for details]. His connection with Peattie may have originated in their mutual condemnation of the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee on 29 December 1890, to which he was a witness. [JC]

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

1. Film (1961). Windsor Productions/Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Irwin Allen. Written by Allen and Charles Bennett. Cast includes Barbara Eden, Joan Fontaine, Peter Lorre, Walter Pidgeon and Robert Sterling. 105 minutes. Colour. / The crew of a glass-nosed nuclear submarine has a mission to fire an atomic missile into the Van Allen belts, which have been set on fire by meteors (!) and are melting the icecaps. Despite enemy submarines, a giant octopus and other hazards, the mission ...

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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