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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 17 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Day the Earth Caught Fire, The

Film (1961). British Lion/Pax/Universal. Produced and directed by Val Guest. Cast includes Arthur Christiansen, Edward Judd, Leo McKern and Janet Munro. Written by Wolf Mankowitz, Guest. 99 minutes, cut to 90 minutes (US). Black and white. / Val Guest, who had made The Quatermass Xperiment (1956) and other sf/horror films for Hammer in the 1950s, excelled himself with this intelligent Disaster movie. After a framing scene, in which reporter Peter Stenning (Judd) walks through the deserted ...

Butler, Joan

Pseudonym of Irish Writer Robert William Alexander (1905-1979), whose first story of genre interest was "The Grey Parrot" for The Happy Mag. in October 1927, and who published numerous adventure stories in the late 1920s under his own name. Though most of his sf was as by Butler, he did publish under his own name two sf novels, both clearly written in the humorous style he had established for his pseudonymous work, but conveying an underlying seriousness of intent. In Mariners' Rest (1943), a ...

Kelly, Harold Ernest

(1900-1969) UK author and publisher, founder with his brother, Hector Kelly, of Everybody's Books in 1943, then in 1946 of Robin Hood Press, for which he wrote many crime novels – being best known for those as by Darcy Glinto – and Westerns, along with some sf and horror. In the 1960s, he wrote crime under the House Name Hank Janson. As Eugene Ascher he wrote the Lucian Carolus series of occult detective novels: There Were No Asper Ladies (1944; vt To Kill a Corpse 1959), Uncanny ...

'Way Out

US tv series (1961). Talent Associates for CBS-TV. Produced by Jacqueline Babbin, Mike Donn. Created by David Susskind. Directors included Marc Daniels, Daniel Petrie, Seymour Robbie, Boris Sagal, Ron Winston. Writers included Irving Gaynor Neiman Jr, Sumner Locke Elliott and Philip H Reisman Jr. Makeup artist: Dick Smith. Host: Roald Dahl. 14 25-minute episodes. Black and white. / An anthology series of macabre tales, the initial episode being adapted from Roald Dahl's own story "William ...

Fuentes, Carlos

(1928-2012) Mexican diplomat and author whose acerbic Magic Realism – a more worldly version of that idiom than found in the works of his coeval, Gabriel García Márquez (1928-2014) – featured in stories and novels from the 1950s on. From his first collection of short stories – Los días enmascarados ["The Masked Days"] (coll 1954; part trans Margaret Sayers Peden as Burnt Water, 1980) Fuentes made a foray into fantastic literature. In the same collection he ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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