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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
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McCutchan, Philip

(1920-1996) UK author, a Sandhurst attendee (though not graduate, as war service took him in 1939), responsible for work in various genres, including a number of historical adventures as by Duncan MacNeil. Of his numerous thrillers, most of which occupy territories subjacent to the James Bond books, several are sf, the majority of these in the twenty-two volumes of his Commander Shaw series, beginning with Gibraltar Road (1960) and ending with Burnout (1995). Of these, Skyprobe (1966), The ...

Wild Talents

This is Charles Fort's term – made famous by his book Wild Talents (1932) – for the complex of supposed paranormal abilities which are discussed in this encyclopedia's entries for ESP and Psi Powers. Wilson Tucker borrowed the phrase for the title of his relevant novel Wild Talent (1954; exp 1955; vt The Man from Tomorrow 1955); Ron Goulart also adopted it for his Wild Talents sequence, beginning with A Talent for the Invisible (1973). Many other authors have made use of the phrase. ...

Wason, Sandys

Working name of Leighton Sandys Wason (1867-1950) UK editor, Church of England cleric and author. In 1892 he founded and edited The Spirit Lamp: An Oxford Magazine Without News, which was short-lived but influential. As Parish Priest of Cury and Gunwalloe in the Diocese of Truro 1905-1919, he controversially, as a declared Anglican Catholic, engaged in disputes about the use of incense in church rituals, and was deprived of his parish. Magenta Minutes: Nonsense Verse (coll 1913) contains ...

Calvert, Robert

(1945-1988) South African-born poet and musician who moved to London in the 1960s and became friendly with Michael Moorcock, amongst others. He fronted Hawkwind during their most spacy 1970s period, but also released material under his own name, although his solo album Captain Lockheed & The Starfighters (1974) is not sf (it is a concept-album that retells the story of the development of Lockheed's F-104 Starfighter jet plane). Calvert's sf poems appeared in various Fanzines and samizdat ...

Time Police

There are many fictional sf organizations whose brief is to regulate Time Travel and attempt to nullify dangerous Time Paradoxes or rewritings of history through Changewar. Inevitably the time police also work to guard their own existence. An early story in Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series, "Delenda Est" (December 1955 F&SF), features some soul-searching about the elimination of an alternate – and in several ways attractive – timeline which through no fault of its inhabitants ...

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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