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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 20 June 2022
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Elder, Michael

(1931-2004) London-born actor and author in various genres, in Scotland from about 1940, where he featured in at least 1000 radio broadcasts, though he was best known for his television role as the doctor in Take the High Road (1980-2003), a long-running soap opera. The first of his novels, The Affair at Invergarroch (1950), hints at the supernatural as an ancient cathedral is ransacked for treasure; he began writing sf proper with Paradise is Not Enough (1970) for Robert Hale Limited, a ...

Omega Point

Originally a metaphysical term conceived by the Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) to denote the state of maximum complexity and consciousness towards which he considered the universe must evolve; the Roman Catholic Church barred his work from publication until after his death. Secularly aspirational versions of Teilhard de Chardin's concepts are central to the "singulatarian" Transhumanism influentially espoused by Ray Kurzweil (1948-    ) in The Age ...

Stalker

Russian film (1979). Mosfilm. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Production design Tarkovsky. Written by Arkady and Boris Strugatski, based on their Roadside Picnic (1972; trans 1977). Cast includes Nikolai Grinko, Aleksandr Kaidanovsky and Anatoli Solonitsyn. 161 minutes. Black and white and colour. / The original novel tells of a mysterious Zone in Canada where enigmatic artefacts can be found, left there like picnic litter by aliens. Tarkovsky's somewhat inaccessible film, set in a desolate, ...

Big Dumb Objects

A jocular though affectionate piece of sf Terminology which seems to have been coined by Roz Kaveney in her retrospective essay "Science Fiction in the 1970s" (June 1981 Foundation), with specific reference to the titular Macrostructure of Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970). The term became fairly commonplace in sf circles to describe megalotropic sf, and indeed was the primary headword for the thematic subgenre in the second edition of this encyclopedia. In Sunstorm (2005) by Arthur C Clarke and ...

Shea, Cornelius

(1863-1920) US author for the silent screen and author of dime novels (see Dime-Novel SF), prolific in many categories but best remembered for marvel stories using a fairly consistent "mythology" of dwarfs, subterranean eruptions, and stage illusion masquerading as supernatural magic. His first tale of sf interest seems to be The Air Voyagers; Or, a Trip to the Moon in a Balloon: A Tale of Wonderful Adventure (1880 chap), which may have been self-published. His other work of sf interest was ...

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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