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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 21 January 2022
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O'Reilly, John

(1906-1981) US journalist and war correspondent who wrote The Glob (18 February 1952 Life Magazine; exp 1952 chap), an explanation of the theory of Evolution and the Origin of Man, couched in fictional form for younger readers as the life-story of the eponymous creature who crawls out of the swamp and becomes, by stages, Homo sapiens. The earlier pages have some distant relationship to Prehistoric SF. Though perfectly competent, the fable is now primarily remembered for the many vivid ...

Thomas, Leah

(?   -    ) US author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Shards" in Daily Science Fiction for April 2011; Because You'll Never Meet Me (2015), an epistolary Young Adult novel, one of whose protagonists is allergic to electricity, while the other requires a pacemaker to control his cardiomyopathy; the two gradually discover that there is a Genetic Engineering link between them. [JC]

Empire of the Ants

Film (1977; vt H G Wells' Empire of the Ants). MGM Studios/Cinema 77/American International Pictures (AIP). Directed by Bert I Gordon. Screenplay by Gordon and Jack Turley, very loosely based on "The Empire of the Ants" (December 1905 Strand Magazine) by H G Wells. Cast includes Joan Collins, Robert Lansing. 82 minutes. Colour. / Unscrupulous real estate developer Marilyn Fryser (Collins) is showing property on an Island near the Florida Everglades to a group of prospective buyers including ...

Hornaday, William T

(1854-1937) US naturalist and taxidermist – chief taxidermist with the Smithsonian Institution from 1882, and first director of the Bronx Zoo, beginning in 1896 – and author, in whose Lost Race tale, The Man Who Became A Savage; A Story of Our Times (1896), a jaded American flees to Borneo, where he discovers an unknown civilization of headhunters. [JC]


Although the name suggests a simple opposition to Heroes, antiheroes are not synonymous with Villains. They range from merely unsympathetic protagonists whose downfall or comeuppance provides satisfaction – typically at slick short story length – to figures of some stature and personal attraction who are dark complements of heroes. Satan is often viewed in genre terms as the antihero counterpart of God (see Gods and Demons). Early Scientific Romance antiheroes of note include Jule ...

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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