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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.

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Gurdjieff, G

(?1866-1949) Armenian philosopher of Greek descent, composer, mystic, teacher and author, in Russia proper (Armenia being a Russian territory) from 1912, in Turkey and mostly in France from 1920; his birth date is insecure, with 1872 and 1877 also being suggested. His doctrine of the Fourth Way – which seems essentially to apply "scientific" expressions of mystical intuitions with the aim of providing models of harmonious selfhood for his followers – deeply influenced figures like A ...

Plato

(circa 429-347 BCE) Greek philosopher, included here partly because his dialogues Timaeus and its appendix Critias (circa 350 BCE) have been taken as examples of Proto SF in their vivid description of Atlantis, a fortified circular Island City on a plateau, embedding in a sketchy (but useful) narrative glimpses of a communal society. The sinking of Atlantis below the sea 9,000 years previously is also mentioned. Significantly, Plato does not date the catastrophe as happening at some unplaceable ...

Block, Bob

(1921-2011) UK scriptwriter, mostly for BBC radio and television, from as early as 1954 with scripts for Life with the Lyons in both mediums; he created and scripted one series, Robert's Robots (1973); and has novelized some of his other scripts of genre interest, including more than one for Rentaghost (1976), as well as Galloping Galaxies! (1987), which adapts scripts from Galloping Galaxies! (1985), a spoof space series derivative of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker works, set on the spaceship ...

Rees, Arthur J

(1872-1942) Australia author, later in the UK, whose first sf novel, The Shrieking Pit: Being the Mystery of the Golden Anchor Inn (1919), is a World War One thriller in which an Invention threatens to change the course of events. In his second, The Threshold of Fear: A Sober Fantasy (1925), which is told within a Club Story frame, a young man discovers an Asian Lost World, whose presiding magus brings him back from death; back in England, haunted by intimations that a personification of Death ...

Bateman, Robert

(1922-1973) UK author, primarily involved in radio and television work. It is tentatively presumed that the three books here described are by this Robert Bateman (there are several). His version of The Hands of Orlac (1961) novelizes the 1960 film, which is based with some remoteness on the original novel, Les mains d'Orlac (15 May-12 July 1920 L'Intransigeant; 1921; trans as The Hands of Orlac 1929; new trans 1981) by Maurice Renard. His sf novel, When the Whites Went (1963), is set in an ...

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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