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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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Hartman, Keith

(1966-    ) US film-maker and author who has worked in various genres, mostly nonfantastic. He is of sf interest for his Gumshoe sequence of Near Future crime thrillers beginning with The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse (1999), set in Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-2020s; the protagonist, a gay private eye (see Sex) finds himself entangled, sometimes spoofishly, with gangs and fanatics occupying the great, sometimes comically dysfunctional City. In Gumshoe Gorilla ...

Barr, Tyrone C

(?   -?   ) UK author. His sf novel, Split Worlds (1959; vt The Last 14 1960), sees 14 crew members of a Space Station survive the extermination (by suicide) of everyone on Earth. Eventually they must land and breed and start again, though quarrelling furiously, in a fantastically transformed world. [JC]

Spider-Man 3

Film (2007). Columbia Pictures presents a Marvel Studios/Laura Ziskin production. Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Sam & Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent; story by Raimi & Raimi, based on the Marvel Comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Thomas Haden Church, James Cromwell, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Topher Grace, Rosemary Harris, Bryce Dallas Howard, Tobey Maguire and J K Simmons. 139 minutes. Colour. / After the languid and lachrymose Spider-Man 2, this ...

Train, Oswald

(1915-1988) UK-born US fan (see Fandom) from 1935, when he became involved in the nascent Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, also attending the first (highly informal) Convention in 1936. A significant Small-Press publisher, he was the main figure behind Prime Press. In 1968 he founded Oswald Train: Publisher, which specialized in detective fiction, although it also released work by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, A Merritt, P Schuyler Miller and Olaf Stapledon. [JC]

Oberth, Hermann

(1894-1989) Austro-Hungarian born German engineer and physicist, in his early years much influenced by the work of Jules Verne. He is of great importance in the theory and development of Rocket science from as early as 1917, and his (rejected) doctoral thesis – Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen ["The Rocket into Interplanetary Space"] (1923 chap; exp vt Wege zur Raumschiffahrt ["Ways to Spaceflight"] 1929) – directly inspired the founding of the Verein für Raumschiffahrt ...

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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