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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.

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Corman, Roger

(1926-2024) US film-maker, a number of whose films are sf. Born in Los Angeles, he graduated in engineering from Stanford University in 1947, and spent a period in the US Navy and a term at Oxford University before going to Hollywood, where he began to write screenplays; his first sale was Highway Dragnet (1954), a picture he coproduced. He soon formed his own company and launched his spectacularly low-budget career. From 1956 he was regularly associated with ...

Plague, Inc.

Videogame (2012). Ndemic Creations. Platforms: IoS, Android; as vt Plague, Inc: Evolved, PC, Xbox One. / A deadly plague is spreading across the world at an alarming rate. People cower inside their houses. Transport gradually shuts down and the world goes dark as the last survivors are left mewling and puking in holes in the ground. The player's mission is to help these plagues spread and exterminate the human race.... / Plague Inc. is ...

Cogswell, Theodore R

(1918-1987) US author and academic, who claimed to have been a teenaged ambulance driver on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. He began publishing sf in June 1952 with what proved to be one of his most successful stories, "The Specter General" for Astounding. In this long, amusing tale – much in the vein Keith Laumer was later to make his own – a long-forgotten maintenance division of the Galactic Protectorate ...


One of the qualities of sf that sometimes baffles new readers is the relative infrequency, despite its label, with which it deals with the hard sciences; indeed, sf deals as often with metaphysics as with Physics. This is not an accidental or a recent development; the exploration of metaphysical questions has been central to sf at least since the time of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus ...

Crimson Pirate, The

Film (1952). Hecht-Lancaster Productions/Warner Brothers. Produced by Harold Hecht. Directed by Robert Siodmak. Written by Roland Kibbee. Cast includes Eva Bartok, Leslie Bradley, Nick Cravat, James Hayter, Burt Lancaster, Frederick Leister and Torin Thatcher. 105 minutes. Colour. / In the late eighteenth century, the pirate Captain Vallo (Lancaster), also known as The Crimson Pirate, captures a Royal Navy vessel bound for the fictional Caribbean Island of ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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