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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 30 January 2023
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Vallance, Karl

Pseudonym of the unidentified UK author (?   -    ) of Global Blackout (1954), a Near Future Disaster tale in which the world is suddenly blacked out. The cause is unknown. The protagonists of the tale survive social breakdown. [JC]


Film (1951). Columbia. Produced, written and directed by Arch Oboler. Cast includes James Anderson, Susan Douglas, Charles Lampkin, Earl Lee and William Phipps. 93 minutes, cut to 89 minutes (UK). Black and white. / The first "after the bomb" Post-Holocaust film, Five concerns five US survivors: a mountaineer, a pregnant girl, a token Black, a cashier and an adventurer. This is a gloomy art film with ...


The growth of knowledge in the biological sciences has lagged behind that in the physical sciences; Newton's synthesis of Physics and Astronomy anticipated the linking of biology and chemistry by 200 years. The age of mechanical inventions began in the early nineteenth century, that of biological inventions is only just beginning, in the wake of the elucidation (during the 1960s) of the "genetic code" which controls naturally occurring ...

Radcliffe, Garnett

(1898-1971) UK author of occasional sf, who also wrote detective thrillers as by Stephen Travers; of sf interest is the title novella of The Return of the Ceteosaurus, and Other Tales (coll 1926), which pits a huge saurian (see Dinosaurs) against a Death Ray. The Great Orme Terror (1934) is a crime thriller whose Villains deploy murderous Robots. The ...

Smith, Wilbur

(1933-2021) South African accountant and author born in Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia], mostly in South Africa from early adulthood; most of his works, which are normally divided into long series, are nonfantastic historical and contemporary dramas set mostly in South Africa. One series, the Ancient Egyptian sequence beginning with River God (1993), incorporates some fantasy elements into its primary setting, which is circa 1700 BC; in The Seventh Scroll ...

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 ...

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