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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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Stranglers, The

UK band. Best known for their blokey post-punk rock, the Stranglers recorded only one sf concept album: The Gospel According to the Meninblack (1981), a strange concoction of conspiracy theories, Alien visitation and Biblical scripture with the governmental "men in black" (see Urban Legends) attempting to keep it all under wraps. It is very far from being the best Stranglers album. [AR] links / The Stranglers (official site)

Last Starfighter, The

Film (1984). Lorimar/Universal. Directed by Nick Castle. Written by Jonathan Betuel. Cast includes Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Preston, Norman Snow and Catherine Mary Stewart. 101 minutes. Colour. / In this cheerful, derivative wish-fulfilment story, Alex (Guest), who lives in a trailer park, is a teenage whiz at computer arcade games. Attaining the highest-ever score on the Starfighter game, he is conscripted (though at first refusing) by its inventor, an alien (Preston), to play a ...

Burgess, Melvin

(1954-    ) UK author of Young Adult novels, some of them controversial, like Doing It (2003), which focuses unrelentingly on teenage obsession with sex, and upon teenage male misogyny. Much of his work is of genre interest. The young protagonist of An Angel for May (1992), which was filmed as An Angel for May (2002), travels by Timeslip to the Britain of World War Two, which almost swallows him; he is saved by a damaged girl named May, who is left behind to live through the ...

Converse, Frank H

(1843-1889) US author for American Boys' Papers whose main work of sf interest Van: or, In Search of an Unknown Race (1 October-31 December 1887 The Golden Argosy; 1891; vt In Search of an Unknown Race 1901), a Lost Race tale featuring an Incan civilization in the Andes. Happy-Go-Lucky Jack (1901) is a lost race tale for children. [JC]

Helprin, Mark

(1947-    ) US author who served in the British Merchant Navy and the Israeli armed forces, experiences transmuted in A Dove of the East and Other Stories (coll 1975), which contains some fantasies. He is best known for Winter's Tale (1983), an epic Urban Fantasy [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] set in an imaginary New York. The novel attempts to be a fantastic history of the City in the twentieth century, celebrating the forces which gave birth to it, and ...

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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