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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 10 June 2024
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Last Man on Earth, The

US silent film (1924). Fox Film Corporation. Directed by John G Blystone. Written by Donald W Lee. Based on "The Last Man on Earth" (November 1923 Munsey's Magazine) by John D Swain. Cast includes Earle Foxe, Martha Mattox and Derelys Perdue. 70 minutes. Black and white. / Though at least two copies of this film survive and it has occasionally been shown at exhibitions, it is not generally available. The main ...


In sf Terminology, an apartment in a high-rise building. Conapts often feature what is effectively a complete life-support system, so that even when they are in a densely populated city their inhabitants are often seen to be isolated from other people. A conapt is often assumed to be in a city consisting of high-rise buildings, each one highly populated, but with the buildings themselves not necessarily crowded together, and sometimes separated by parkland. ...


Pseudonym of the unidentified French author (?   -?   ) of a Future War novel, La guerre final, histoire fantastique (1885; trans Brian Stableford as The Final War: A Fantastic Story coll 2014), whose name on the title page is expanded to Barillet-Lagargousse, Ingénieur destructeur ["Engineer of Destruction"]. The English translation also includes a ...

Sobel, Robert

(1931-1999) US academic and author, almost exclusively of nonfiction studies in business history. His only sf novel, For Want of a Nail: If Burgoyne Had Won at Saratoga (1973), is an Alternate History of post-Revolution America, written in the form of a textbook, with maps and hundreds of footnotes to imaginary sources. The Jonbar Point of the book is the victory of General Burgoyne at Sarasota in October 1777, ...

Fast, Jonathan

(1948-    ) US composer and author, son of Howard Fast, who wrote music before coming to sf with "Decay" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1975. His first novel, The Secrets of Synchronicity (1977; vt Prisoner of the Planets 1980), is a complex Space Opera which, unusually for the form, is a Satire that ...

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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