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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 23 May 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Steele, Mary Q

(1922-1992) US author for children and for the Young Adult market, who also wrote as by Wilson Gage, under which name she wrote the Mrs Gaddy fantasies for younger readers [not listed below]; much of her work was nonfiction. Her first work of some interest in the field of the fantastic, Secret of the Fiery Gorge (1960) as by Wilson Gage, is fantasy. Work of sf interest includes The Journey Outside (1969), whose protagonists, who live Underground in Pocket Universe environment, escape upwards to ...

Cooney, Michael

(1921-    ) Irish author of two Near Future novels, Doomsday England (1967) and Ten Days to Oblivion (1968), which predict the dire consequences of allowing any relaxation of vigilance against the foe, which is in this case Communism. [JC]

Rosenberg, Joel

(1954-2011) Canadian author, in the US from an early age; he began publishing sf with "Like the Gentle Rains" for Asimov's in February 1982, but clearly felt more comfortable with tales of novel length. His first book, The Sleeping Dragon (1983), a Sword-and-Sorcery fantasy, began the Recursive Guardians of the Flame sequence, which ends with Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda (2003). Other fantasy series include the D'Shai sequence comprising D'Shai (1991) and Hour of the Octopus (1994); the ...

Comic Inferno

A more or less self-explanatory item of Terminology coined by Kingsley Amis in New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction (1960), describing sf which cheerfully extracts Satire or outright black Humour from a scenario rooted in Dystopia. Examples cited by Amis include Anthony Boucher's "Barrier" (September 1942 Astounding as "The Barrier"), Frederik Pohl's "The Midas Plague" (April 1954 Galaxy), Robert Sheckley's "A Ticket to Tranai" (October 1955 Galaxy) and William Tenn's "Null-P" (January ...

Ambushers, The

Film (1967). Columbia Pictures Corporation. Produced by Irving Allen. Directed by Henry Levin. Written by Herbert Baker based loosely on The Ambushers (1963) and (uncredited) The Menacers (1968), both by Donald Hamilton. Cast includes Senta Berger, James Gregory, Dean Martin, Janice Rule and Albert Salmi. 102 minutes. Colour. / Matt Helm (Martin), top agent for ICE (Intelligence and Counter Espionage), arrives at the organization's training centre, in part to help uncover a double agent. ...

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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