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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 23 May 2022
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Crommelin, May

Working name of Irish author Mary Henriette de la Cherois Crommelin (1849-1930), mostly in England from around 1885, active as a writer of romantic novels – many of them historicals – from 1874; she worked in at least three London hospitals during World War One. Of some sf interest is The Luck of a Lowland Laddie (1900), an adventure set in South America whose protagonists are chased for several chapters by a carnivorous tree. Despite its title, The Isle of the Dead (1911), set on ...

Lost Continent, The

Film (1968). Hammer/Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Michael Carreras. Written by Michael Nash, based on Uncharted Seas (1938) by Dennis Wheatley. Cast includes Hildegard Knef, Suzanna Leigh, Eric Porter and Darryl Read. 98 minutes. Colour. / A ramshackle freighter wanders into the Sargasso Sea and becomes trapped in a "lost continent" (see Lost Worlds) of seaweed. Passengers and crew then face the onslaught of various menaces, including a giant octopus, a giant crab, carnivorous seaweed ...

Terrall, Robert

(1914-2009) US journalist and author almost exclusively of thrillers, sometimes as by John Gonzales or Robert Kyle; he also wrote at least twenty Michael Shayne adventures under the House Name Brett Halliday. He is of sf interest for A Killer Is Loose Among Us (1948), a Near Future medical thriller set in an Army research laboratory, where the development of a deadly new plague (see Medicine) threatens the world if it should escape and lead to a Pandemic. [JC]


An essential part of sf is change; indeed it may be said that the belief that the circumstances of human life were bound to keep on changing provided the most powerful stimulus for the creation of the genre. Nevertheless, it is obvious from experience that all changes, technical or social, encounter resistance ranging from the perfunctory to the desperate, as a result of human inertia. Much sf, then, is concerned with the nature of that resistance, its unexpected force, the most efficacious ...

Miller, Derek B

(1970-    ) US academic and author, resident in various countries, whose first three novels, beginning with Norwegian Night (trans from English manuscript 2010), first published in Norway, are crime thrillers. His fourth novel, Radio Life (2021), is set in a moderately distant Near Future America dominated by a conflict between the Commonwealth – which is devoted to the recovery of relics of the Gone World, a Golden Age of high Technology – and the Keepers, who ...

Clute, John

(1940-    ) Canadian critic, editor and author, in the UK from 1969; married to Judith Clute from 1964, partner of Elizabeth Hand since 1996. His first professional publication was the long sf-tinged poem "Carcajou Lament" (Winter 1960 [ie Autumn 1959] Triquarterly), though he only began publishing sf reviews in 1964 and sf proper with "A Man Must Die" in New Worlds for November 1966, where much of his earlier criticism also appeared. This criticism, despite some studiously ...

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