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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 27 June 2022
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An essential part of sf is change; indeed it may be said that the belief that the circumstances of human life were bound to keep on changing provided the most powerful stimulus for the creation of the genre. Nevertheless, it is obvious from experience that all changes, technical or social, encounter resistance ranging from the perfunctory to the desperate, as a result of human inertia. Much sf, then, is concerned with the nature of that resistance, its unexpected force, the most efficacious ...

O'Brien, David

(?   -    ) UK author of whom nothing is known except that he wrote several early-1950s sf novels for Curtis Warren under various House Names, including the International Research Council sequence – Photomesis (1952) and Black Infinity (1952) as Berl Cameron, continued in Stella Radium Discharge (1952) as Kris Luna – Blue Asp (1952) as Rand Le Page, and Ships of Vero (1952) as Brian Shaw. [JC/DRL]


In sf Terminology, this is typically a noun denoting a creature (usually intelligent) from beyond Terra; that is, from off Earth. When used as a noun, and occasionally in its adjectival mode, the word may be shortened to "et", "e-t" or "ET" (pronounced "eetee"). Of course the adjectival form need not imply life or consciousness – a meteorite, by definition, comes from extraterrestrial regions – but neither does it exclude them. One favourite Pseudoscience trope often deployed in sf ...

Unearthly Stranger

Film (1963). A Julian Wintel-Leslie Parkyn Production, Independent Artists, American International Pictures. Directed by John Krish. Written by Rex Carlton. Cast includes Gabriella Licudi, Jean Marsh, Warren Mitchell, John Neville and Philip Stone. 74 minutes. Black and white. / In this low-key, unpretentious UK sf film a space Scientist gradually realizes that his wife (who sleeps with her eyes open) is an Alien, one of many who are infiltrating Earth (see Invasion) and wiping out the ...

Bleunard, A

(1852-1905) French academic and author whose publishers sometimes described him as a "doctor of science". His sf novel, La Babylone électrique (1888; trans "Frank Linstow White" as Babylon Electrified: The History of an Expedition Undertaken to Restore Ancient Babylon by the Power of Electricity, and How it Resulted 1889), whose English subtitle does much to describe its contents, is an exuberant demonstration of the vaunting ambitiousness of nineteenth-century science, especially in ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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