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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 August 2022
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The fantasy of being able to make oneself invisible is a common childhood daydream. As with all such daydreams, literary treatments of the theme tend to be cautionary tales; the three-decker novel The Invisible Gentleman (1833) by James Dalton is the most extravagant nineteenth-century example. No good comes of it in such early sf stories as Edward Page Mitchell's "The Crystal Man" (January 1881 The Sun anon), H G Wells's classic The Invisible Man (1897) and Jack London's "The Shadow and the ...

Smith, Kent

(?   -    ) US author in whose sf novel, Future X (1990), a Black man from a racist twenty-first century discovers a Time-Travel device, returns to the time of Malcolm X (1925-1965) with the intention of saving him from assassination, causes his death months too early, and finds himself bound into taking his place. But history continues as before, for there is no way, the book seems to argue, of curing the system that killed Malcolm X in the first place. ...

Rowe, John Gabriel

(1873-1956) UK editor, screenwriter and author, mostly of tales for boys, though in his later career he published some modestly adoring biographies of British figures, all men; he also wrote as by Mortimer Austin, James Bright, Gregory Dunstan, Arthur Ferris, John Gabriel (this may have been the real name of a different author), Charles Lewis, Charles A Ransome, Alice E Rowe and T B Walters. He was active from before 1890. The range of his work of sf interest has not been definitely ...

Wollheim, Betsy

Working name of Elizabeth R Wollheim (1954-    ), US editor and publisher, daughter of Donald A Wollheim; she worked as an associate editor of his DAW Books from 1975, took over the DAW presidency from him when his health began to fail in 1985, and still runs the company as President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, the last two roles shared with Sheila E Gilbert. On taking over the company she generally continued its established traditions – though E C Tubb's Dumarest ...

Conklin, Groff

(1904-1968) US editor who began his career as manager of Doubleday Book Stores 1930-1934, and who intermittently held various editing positions, in and out of commercial publishing, for the rest of his life; he was, however, primarily a freelance. The first of his many sf Anthologies was The Best of Science Fiction (anth 1946; vt The Golden Age of Science Fiction 1980), a huge compendium which vied in size and potential influence with Raymond J Healy's and J Francis McComas's Adventures in Time ...

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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