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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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Clarke, Covington

Pseudonym of US lawyer and author Homer Clarke Venable (1891-1953), active in the 1920s, who specialized in flying adventures for boys; under his own name, he wrote some adult fiction. Covington Clarke novels of sf interest include Desert Wings (1930) and Mystery Flight of the Q2 (1932), the latter being a Lost Race tale featuring the discovery of a lost civilization of Incas. [JC]

Billias, Stephen

(1949-    ) US author whose first novel, The American Book of the Dead (1987), makes use of Zen points of view in a picaresque approach to an understanding of Holocaust involving many encounters as World War Three breaks out, some with talking monkeys (see Apes as Human) including Tarzan's Cheetah, and potential salvation by Aliens, who may be more interested in rescuing cetaceans. The Quest for the 36 (1988) rather similarly convokes the 36 just men from Jewish folklore to ...

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]

Droids

German 1970s electro-disco group. Their album Star Peace (1978) contains eight science-fictional songs that attempt, in unauthorized and unembarrassed fashion (most obviously in the opening track "Can You Feel the Force?"), to cash in on the success of Star Wars (1977), from whose popularization of the term Droid the band's name was derived. [AR]

Crick, Donald

(1916-2005) Australian author, the last of his five novels being The Moon to Play With (1981), an sf Satire with a fairly mild touch. [JC]

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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