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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.

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Film (1985). Edward S Feldman/Paramount. Directed by Joe Dante. Written by Eric Luke. Cast includes Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson. 109 minutes. Colour. / Three schoolboys (Hawke, Phoenix, Presson), tipped off by a dream, employ a Computer to help create a sphere that can move very quickly and is impervious to Gravity; they use it to power a Spaceship they build out of junk. Far above Earth they find another spacecraft with, inside it, two Aliens – their view of humanity ...

Smith, Walter J

(1917-?2011) UK author of two sf novels, The Grand Voyage (1973) and Fourth Gear (1974), for Robert Hale Limited. More interestingly than some contributions to this publisher's sf series, the first tale involves a protagonist who joins the eponymous Voyage via Time Travel, and searches for earlier travellers who have mysteriously disappeared. / Smith apparently adopted the middle name James although no middle name or initial appears in his birth and marriage records. [JC]

Stapledon, Olaf

(1886-1950) UK author and philosopher, born in the Wirral peninsula near Liverpool, where he spent the greater part of his life. In Waking World (1934) he admitted that he lived "chiefly on dividends and other ill-gotten gains". The name Olaf does not indicate foreign antecedents: his parents had been reading Carlyle's The Early Kings of Norway (coll 1875) when he was born. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he worked for a short period without enthusiasm in the family shipping office ...


US letter-size saddle-stapled Cinema magazine printed on newsprint. One undated issue published 1976. Countrywide Communications. No editor named. / One of several one-issue magazines issued to capitalize on the interest in King Kong (1976), this consisted largely of photographs from the original King Kong (1933) along with some short articles. It was subtitled "the most famous monster of all time." [GSt] see also: Media Magazines. /

Rankin, Ian

(1960-    ) Scottish author active from 1984, very much best known for his long Inspector Rebus sequence of policiers set in Edinburgh, beginning with Knots & Crosses (1987); the series is entirely nonfantastic, and is not listed below. His first novel, The Flood (1986), makes tentative occult connections between a gypsy girl and the eponymous Disaster, but they remain inexplicit. The Travelling Companion (2015) is a bibliomystery concerning a lost manuscript by Robert ...

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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