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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 15 May 2024
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Corman, Roger

(1926-2024) US film-maker, a number of whose films are sf. Born in Los Angeles, he graduated in engineering from Stanford University in 1947, and spent a period in the US Navy and a term at Oxford University before going to Hollywood, where he began to write screenplays; his first sale was Highway Dragnet (1954), a picture he coproduced. He soon formed his own company and launched his spectacularly low-budget career. From 1956 he was regularly associated with ...

Thorburn, S S

(1844-1924) Scottish commissioner in the Indian Civil Service and author whose sf novel, His Majesty's Greatest Subject (1897), begins with a Ruritanian premise – the protagonist supplants his twin brother as Viceroy of India – but soon shifts into a tale of the Near Future in which the usurper saves India from radicals of every stripe, and instrumental in turning back a Franco-Russian ...

King, Maggie Shen

(?   -    ) Taiwan-born author, in USA from the age of sixteen, who began to publish work of genre interest with "Ball and Chain" in Asimov's for February 2014. This story is essentially the first chapter of her first novel, An Excess Male (2017), set in a Near Future Dystopian China, whose genuine historical One-Child attempts to control ...

Smit, Sam

(?   -    ) UK author whose The Serendipity Foundation (2016) focuses on the twenty-first century plan of an aeons-old cabal of Secret Masters to blackmail the world into behaving sanely. The tone is forcedly comic, but intermittently relaxes into seriousness. [JC]


The idea of "mutation" as a concept for use in understanding biological Evolution was popularized by Hugo de Vries (1848-1935) in Die Mutationstheorie (1901-1903); he related it to gross hereditary variations – the freakish "sports" which occasionally turn up in animal populations. Such sports are usually short-lived and sterile, and Charles Darwin (1809-1882) had rejected the notion that they might play a key part; the concept of mutation as an ...

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 ...

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