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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 20 May 2022
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Post, Melville Davisson

(1869-1930) US author of much popular short crime fiction, the Uncle Abner and the Randolph Mason stories being perhaps best known; the legal conundrums Mason exploits in order to defend clients are not, however, literally fantastic. Of sf interest is The Revolt of the Birds (1927), an exceedingly atmospheric tale that climaxes in an Island overrun by almost certainly Mutant insects who breed after an industrial farmer attempts to exterminate the bird population; two human lovers are rescued, ...

Bruckner, Karl

(1906-1982) Austrian author almost all of whose 30 or so books – many of them written for children, many of them sf – remain untranslated. In Nur zwei Roboter? (1963; trans Frances Lobb as The Hour of the Robots 1964), Russian agents steal advanced Robot designs from America; fortunately, once the robots (named William and Natasha) are built, their mutual affection causes the world to look to peace. [JC]

Agnew, Spiro T

(1918-1996) American politician who served as governor of Maryland (1967-1969) and as vice president under Richard Nixon (1969-1973) until he was forced to resign in late 1973 after pleading no contest to a charge of tax evasion. He then tried his hand at fiction with The Canfield Decision (1976), an inept, widely derided Technothriller involving the efforts of an unscrupulous vice president to gain control of America in 1983; his machinations include US provision of nuclear arms to Israel. ...

Jefferies, Richard

(1848-1887) UK naturalist, journalist and author, active from around 1866. The son of a farmer, he showed remarkable powers of observation when writing about Nature, describing it in a poetic style from an animist viewpoint that was devoid of sentimentality. His grasp of the description of nature as impacted upon by human agencies (see Pastoral; Pollution) does not illuminate his two early Satires – Jack Brass: Emperor of England (1873 chap), which can loosely be construed as fantasy, and ...


Film (1980). Alligator Associates/Group 1. Directed by Lewis Teague. Written by John Sayles, based on a story by Sayles and Frank Ray Perilli. Cast includes Robert Forster, Michael Gazzo, Dean Jagger and Robin Riker. 91 minutes cut to 89 minutes. Colour. / A pet baby alligator is flushed down a Los Angeles toilet (see California). Actualizing a familiar US Urban Legends, it or another grows into a Monster, aided by hormone-experiment waste materials illicitly dumped in the sewers (see ...

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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