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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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Smythe, James

(1980-    ) UK author who writes Young Adult fiction as J P Smythe; his first novel, Hereditation (2010) is an essentially nonfantastic Gothic set in New York. Of sf interest is The Testimony (2012), in which a Dystopian Near Future world is confronted with a seemingly irrefutable annunciation – perhaps in the very words of God, spoken deafeningly by Himself – of the End of the World; the tale is couched in bestseller or Technothriller format, with perhaps a ...

Virtuosity

Film (1995). Paramount Pictures presents a Gary Lucchesi production. Directed by Brett Leonard. Written by Eric Bernt. Cast includes Russell Crowe, Kelly Lynch and Denzel Washington. 102 minutes. Colour. / Virtuosity combines Hollywood staple themes of Virtual Reality and the indestructible killer, but at its heart is a traditional thriller of cop versus criminal. SID 6.7 (Crowe) is a debonair, if psychotic Artificial Intelligence (see AI), SID being an acronym for "Sadistic, Intelligent, ...

Caldwell, Taylor

(1900-1985) UK-born author, in US from childhood, who concentrated on extremely successful suspense-filled family sagas. Her first sf novel, The Devil's Advocate (1952), though set in 1970, is effectively a right-wing denunciation of the New Deal of the 1930s, whose welfare policies (it suggests) have made an oppressive Dystopia inevitable; fortunately, rebels known as the Minute Men are destined to save the day. Her second effort, Your Sins and Mine (1955), is fundamentally Fantasy, in that ...

ALF

US tv series (1986-1990). Warner Bros TV for NBC. Created by Paul Fusco and Ed Weinberger. Produced by Tom Patchett. Writers include Fusco, Patchett. Directors include Fusco, Patchett, Peter Bonerz. 25 minutes per episode. Colour. / ALF, an "alien life form" – in the line of extraterrestrial descent from My Favorite Martian and Mork in Mork & Mindy, though also influenced heavily by E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Explorers (1985) and the success of the Muppets – moves ...

Smith, H Allen

(1907-1976) US newspaperman and author, mostly of humorous sketches (from about 1922) and books, often for the Saturday Evening Post. In his first sf novel, Mr Klein's Kampf, or His Life as Hitler's Double (1939), a Jew takes over from his look-alike, Hitler, and spoofishly declares Germany to be the new Zion. The Age of the Tail (1955), also a comic Satire, depicts the effect on a Near-Future world of all children being born with tails. [JC]

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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