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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 24 January 2022
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Ditko, Steve

(1927-2018) US Comics artist and writer, active from around 1953, his first professional assignment of genre interest being "Stretching Things" by Bruce Hamilton (1900-1974), which was eventually published in Fantastic Fears #5 for February 1954 [for a more detailed description of Ditko's early fantasy and other work, see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. A long, complicated but mutually fruitful association with Jack Kirby began about this time; Ditko also did his first work for ...

Freireich, Valerie J

(1952-    ) US business transactional attorney and author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Ballgame" for Starshore in 1991. Her four novels to date – Becoming Human (1995), Testament (1995), The Beacon (1996) and The Imposter [sic] (1997) – are loosely connected within a broad Space Opera galactic civilization whose dominant union, the Harmony of Worlds, is, interestingly, heavily structured at the macro level – rather like a "hard state" ...

Williams, Billy Dee

Working name of US actor and author William December Williams (1937-    ), best known for playing Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) et cetera. He co-wrote with Rob MacGregor the Trent Calloway series beginning with OSI Net (1999), about American intelligence operatives gifted (or cursed) with Psi Powers. [JC]

Banville, Théodore de

(1823-1891) French poet and author, a formalist and symbolist involved in various literary controversies over the course of his forty-year career. His penetration of the veils of reality may not have been lastingly profound, but the modestly transgressive thrust of the tales assembled as Contes Féeriques (coll 1882; trans Brian Stableford as Magical Tales 2021) demonstrates a use of Fantastika to grasp the unstable gist of a brittle culture. [JC]

Maison d'Ailleurs, La

"The house of elsewhere", subtitled (in French) "The museum of Utopia, of extraordinary voyages and of science fiction". This establishment in Yverdon, Switzerland, contains about 50,000 items relating to sf, maybe half of them books and magazines, the remainder all sorts of ephemera: Toys, Games, stamps, posters, calendars, etc. Founded in 1975 by Pierre Versins, who donated his celebrated private Collection to it, it was given much-needed financial assistance by the town of Yverdon in 1989, ...

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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