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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 27 June 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books


Videogame (2003). Digital Anvil (DA). Designed by Chris Roberts. Platforms: Win. / Freelancer is a three-dimensional Space Sim which combines the open exploratory gameplay of Elite (1984) with an integrated linear plot (see Interactive Narrative). The player character is Edison Trent, a down on his luck "freelancer" who needs a new ship. Soon the player is involved with a secret alien invasion, searching for a mysterious artefact that can eventually be used to help save humanity. The ...

Laser Books

Canadian sf imprint initiated in 1975 by Harlequin Books, the US publisher of Mills & Boon romances, under the editorship of Roger Elwood. The books were restricted to a formula which specified a male protagonist, an upbeat ending, no sex or atheism, and a minimum of long words. All Laser Book covers were the work of Frank Kelly Freas. The series was suspended early in 1977 after fifty-seven books had appeared. The Laser formula seemed to make it unlikely that books of any literary quality ...

It Happened Here

Film (1966). Rath/Lopert. Directed by Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo. Written by Brownlow, Mollo. Cast includes Honor Fehrson, Fiona Leland, Pauline Murray and Sebastian Shaw. 99 minutes, cut to 93 minutes. Black and white. / Alternate-History stories are rare in sf cinema. This UK film is an exception; it shows what might have happened had Nazi Germany successfully invaded the UK (see Hitler Wins). Shot in a realistic, documentary-like style, it is a remarkable achievement when one takes ...

Du Bois, W E B

(1868-1963) US sociologist, historian, journalist and author; active from the early 1890s, the first African-American to gain a doctorate from Harvard University (in 1895); a co-founder in 1909 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was a central figure for many decades in campaigns for full civil rights. His two best known books, The Souls of Black Folk (coll 1903) and Black Reconstruction in America (1935), remain seminal texts. He is of sf interest ...

Westwood, Alvin

Pseudonym of the unidentified UK author (?   -    ) of Sinister Forces (1953), a Space Opera in which the exploration of a wandering planet with dead inhabitants leads to a threat of interstellar War. [JC]

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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