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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 8 August 2022
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James, Rowland

(1885-?   ) UK author of a Future War novel, While England Slept (1932), featuring the relatively benign Invasion of the UK with the aid of a gas which causes Amnesia but does not kill, while simultaneously making the population receptive to a new Religion. [JC]

Todorov, Tzvetan

(1939-2017) Bulgarian literary critic, in France from 1963; he pursued his postgraduate studies in Paris under the direction of the semiotic philosopher Roland Barthes (1915-1980). Among Todorov's several books and essays on structuralist criticism, all written in French, Introduction à la littérature fantastique (1970; trans Richard Howard as The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to Literary Genre 1973; US paperback 1975 with intro by Robert Scholes) has relevance to the student ...


The asteroids (or minor planets) mostly lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The first to be discovered was Ceres, identified by Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826) in 1801; three more, including Vesta and Pallas, were discovered in the same decade, and hundreds of thousands have now been catalogued. Only a few are over 150 km (100 miles) in diameter, the largest – Ceres, classified since 2006 as a dwarf planet rather than an asteroid – being some 700 km (435 miles) across. A once ...

Journal of Frankenstein, The

US letter-size Cinema magazine printed on a mix of newsprint and slick paper. Published by New World Enterprises Syndicated. Editor: Victor Frankenstein III, a pseudonym for the publisher Calvin T Beck. One undated issue, 1959. / This was Beck's first effort at a Monster Movies magazine; though of good quality, it was not successful enough to justify further issues. The most interesting item was a long article on actor Boris Karloff; the early Television horror film host John Zacherley was ...

Food Pills

A minor Cliché recurring not only in science fiction itself but also in public perceptions of sf and Futures Studies. The eminent French chemist Marcelin Berthelot (1827-1907) laid the groundwork in his essay "Foods in the Year 2000" (1894 McClure's), boldly predicting that agriculture would be entirely superseded by synthetic food manufacture. The notion of sustaining life through concentrated food likewise precedes both the space programme and Genre SF: early examples are the austerely ...

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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