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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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Root, Albert

(1891-1990) US poultry farmer and author; his sf novel is Tomorrow's Harvest; or, Death Takes a Holiday (New York: Vantage Press, 1967), described by the author as "God-inspired" (see Religion). [JC/DRL]


A term coined in the 1960s by Karl Werner, referring to techniques for preserving the human body by supercooling. R C W Ettinger's The Prospect of Immortality (1964) popularized the idea that the corpses of terminally ill people might be "frozen down" in order to preserve them until such a time as medical science would discover cures for all ills and a method of resurrecting the dead. Many sf stories have extrapolated the notion. / The preservative effects of low temperatures have been ...

World, the Flesh and the Devil, The

Film (1959). HarbelProductions/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Directed by Ranald MacDougall. Written by Ferdinand Reyher and MacDougall, nominally based on The Purple Cloud (1901) by M P Shiel. Cast includes Harry Belafonte, Mel Ferrer and Inger Stevens. 95 minutes. Black and white. / Ralph Burton (Belafonte), an African-American mine inspector, is trapped Underground by a cave-in. He can hear rescuers attempting to reach him, but apparently they give up. He digs himself out, to find a deserted ...

Laidlaw, Marc

(1960-    ) US Videogame writer and author who began publishing work of genre interest with "A Hiss of Dragon" with Gregory Benford for Omni in December 1978. He published solo stories with some frequency in the 1980s, including "400 Boys" (November 1983 Omni), whose inclusion in Bruce Sterling's Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (anth 1986) elected him to the influential Cyberpunk cohort. But his best-known short work from this period is perhaps the Delbert and Zeb ...

Stringer, Arthur

(1874-1950) Canadian poet and author, in the US from 1898; prolific in several genres from 1894, though he concentrated on the Canadian genre of survival tales set in the northern wilds. The Man Who Couldn't Sleep (coll 1919) and The Wolf Woman (1928) are fantasy. Of sf interest are a film tie, The Story without a Name (1924) with Russell Holman, in which a Death Ray appears, an Invention duly sought after by a sizeable passel of Villains; and The Woman Who Couldn't Die (1929), whose Viking ...

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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