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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
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Critters

Film (1986). New Line/Smart Egg/Sho films. Directed by Stephen Herek. Written by Herek, Dominic Muir, with additions by Opper. Cast includes Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Don Opper, Dee Wallace Stone and M Emmet Walsh. 86 minutes, cut to 85 minutes. Colour. / Small furry carnivorous Aliens with voracious appetites and large teeth (very clearly modelled on the creatures in Joe Dante's Gremlins [1984]) besiege a farmhouse in Kansas and are driven off with the help of alien bounty-hunters. ...

Alternate Cosmos

A Term used in this encyclopedia for the special case of Parallel World universes where the laws of Physics are and always have been importantly different; some sf stories posit this kind of radical change (or the threat of such change) to our own universe. George Gamow uses the device of dreams in Mr Tompkins in Wonderland (stories 1938-1939 Discovery; 1939 chap) to present alternate cosmoi in which the speed of light and Planck's constant have very different values, making their effects ...

Captain Future

US Pulp magazine, 17 issues Winter 1940 to Spring 1944, quarterly (missing Fall 1943). Published by Better Publications; edited by Leo Margulies with Mort Weisinger (1940-1941) and Oscar J Friend (1941-1944). A companion magazine to Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories, Captain Future was an attempt to establish a Space-Opera equivalent to the popular Superhero pulps (Doc Savage magazine and the like). Each issue ran a complete novel about tall, cheerful, red-headed Curt Newton, alias ...

Del Martia, Astron

A House Name invented by publisher Stephen Frances for his second publishing house, the self-named S D Frances, and used there by John Russell Fearn on The Trembling World (1949), in which relics of an ancient Alien civilization are found in a valley of stone statues in Brazil; it is the best of the Del Martia titles. The name was then sold on to Gaywood Press, which used it for three more tales: Dawn of Darkness (1951 chap), Space Pirates (1951) and Interstellar Espionage (1952). The latter ...

Shaw, Ali

(1982-    ) UK author who remains best known for his first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet (2009), a fantasy in which elements of folklore surface through the tale of the metamorphosis of a young woman into glass; The Man Who Rained (2012) is also fantasy. Of some sf interest is The Trees (2016), set in a UK suddenly afflicted by a supernatural-seeming Disaster, a sudden countrywide irruption of full-grown trees, creating a chthonic forest. The tale focuses on several ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...



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