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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 8 August 2022
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Witkiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy

(1885-1939) Polish painter, playwright and author, who also signed himself Witkacy, a combination of his last and middle names; he committed suicide just after the Nazi invasion of his country when he learned that Soviet armies had attacked from the east, the direction in which he was fleeing. Much of his work, some eerily prophetic, deals darkly and humorously with the theme of a conservative world suddenly subjected to change, the clash of cultures, future totalitarianisms and apocalypse (see ...

Alexie, Sherman

(1966-    ) US author, songwriter and stage performer, a full-blood Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, known first for his poetry. Some of the stories in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993) are of genre interest; Reservation Blues (1995), though perhaps more justly deemed a fantasy than sf, interestingly Reincarnates Robert Johnson on a Spokane Indian reservation, where he passes his gift on to a young Indian performer, who electrifies the world with the chthonic ...

Hader, Berta

(1890-1976) US illustrator and author, born in Mexico of American parents in transit, whose copious work, in collaboration with her husband, includes one Young Adult sf tale, The Skyrocket (1946) with Elmer Hader, though it may be the case that the Rocket in question is fuelled by Magic. [JC]

Project Moonbase

Film (1953). Galaxy Pictures/Lippert. Directed by Richard Talmadge. Written by Robert A Heinlein, Jack Seaman. Cast includes Ross Ford, Larry Johns, Donna Martell and Hayden Rorke. 63 minutes, cut to 51 minutes. Black and white. / This rarely seen film is of interest mainly because Heinlein worked on the screenplay. A three-strong expedition takes off from a Space Station orbiting Earth to select a site for a Moonbase from lunar orbit, but their rocket crashlands on the Moon. One of the ...

Parasitism and Symbiosis

Parasitism and symbiosis are Nature's extreme forms of commensalism (physical association). A parasitic species promotes its own interests entirely to the detriment of the other; symbiosis refers to the much less common state in which both organisms obtain some benefit from the association. / Imaginary parasites of human beings are featured in many effective sf Horror stories, often linked to the idea of vampirism (although classical Vampires might better be regarded as predators than as ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...

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