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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 23 May 2022
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Fire in the Sky, A

Made-for-tv film (1978). Columbia Pictures Television/NBC Television network. Directed by Jerry Jamerson. Written by Michael Blankfort from a story by Paul Gallico and Dennis Nemec. Cast includes Elizabeth Ashley, Richard Crenna, Andrew Duggan, David Dukes and Joanna Miles. 150 minutes. Colour. / Astronomer Jennifer Dreiser (Miles) discovers a bright, new Comet which initially pleases her greatly, until she realizes it is on a collision course with the earth. Near-earth object specialist ...

Seymour, John

(1914-2004) UK farmer and author almost all of whose works, from the early 1950s until his death, are nonfiction discussing the disappearance of what he deemed to be a balanced world (see Ecology), and the prospects of achieving sustainability in the future (see Futures Studies). Of sf interest is Die Lerchen singen so schön ["The Larks They Sang Melodious"] (1982), portraying Near Future disaster and recovery for a UK afflicted first by a general strike and then by collapse of ...

Marriott Watson, Henry Crocker

(1839-1901) Australian minister and author, in New Zealand from 1873; his family surname was simply Watson, but both he and his son, H B Marriott Watson, used the fuller name in honour of the distinguished Marriott family, with whom a relationship was claimed; he did, however, write at least once as Henry Crocker. Erchomenon; or, The Republic of Materialism (1879), a Sleeper Awakes tale published anonymously, is a socialist, secular Utopia set 600 years after the narrator enters Suspended ...

Chipman, C P

(1878-1956) US author of stories for the Boys' Papers; his two sf tales of interest are An Aerial Runaway: The Balloon Adventures of Rod & Tod in North & South America (1901) with W P Chipman, who was his father, and The Last Cruise of the Electra: Being the Strange Adventures of Two American Lads on Land and Sea (1902) solo. They are both routine. [JC]

Mr Drake's Duck

Film (1951). Douglas Fairbanks Productions. Eros Films (UK), United Artists (US). Produced by Daniel M Angel. Directed by Val Guest. Written by Guest and Ian Messiter based on a radioplay by Messiter. Cast includes Yolande Donlan, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Jon Pertwee. 85 minutes UK; 75 minutes US. Black and white. / American Donald Drake (Fairbanks) and his wife Penny (Donlan) arrive at Green Acres Farm, Sussex, which Drake has inherited from an English relation. Penny ...

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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