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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 17 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Straub, Peter

(1943-    ) US author who has focused throughout his long career on horror, almost always fantastic; he has written relatively little short fiction, his first story being The General's Wife (May 1982 Twilight Zone; 1982); Interior Darkness: Selected Stories (coll 2016) assembles a significant range of tales from between 1985 and 2013, some of them of novella length. Some of his mid-period works, like the World Fantasy Award-winning Koko (1988) are nonfantastic tales of crime ...


This Comic-book crimefighter, the archetypal masked avenger (though influenced by earlier such figures, notably The Shadow), nicknamed "The Caped Crusader" and "The Dark Knight", has become a twentieth-century Icon. He is not a Superhero in the strictest sense, since he is represented as having no superhuman abilities; however, his near-impossible strength, stamina and athletic prowess are bolstered by a wide range of frequently science-fictional gadgets (see Inventions). / Created by ...


The suggestion that people might one day travel to the Moon inside a flying machine was first put forward seriously by John Wilkins in 1638. There had been cosmic voyages prior to that date, and there were to be many more thereafter (see Fantastic Voyages; Space Flight), but few took the mechanics of the journey seriously enough to invest much imaginative effort in the design of credible vehicles. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" (June 1835 Southern Literary ...

Kandel, Michael

(1941-    ) US book editor, translator and author, best known until the late 1980s for his brilliant translations from the Polish of works by Stanisław Lem, among them a pyrotechnic rendering of the novella "Kongres Futurologiczny" (1971 Poland) as The Futurological Congress (1974), many of whose wordplays as translated here being of necessity Kandel's own coinings. The Cosmic Carnival of Stanisław Lem (coll 1981), which Kandel assembled, contains excerpts from ...

Constable, Frank Challice

(1846-1937) UK lawyer and author, who sometimes published as F C Constable, and sometimes as Colin Clout or Machiavelli Colin Clout. Of his two sf novels, the first – The Curse of Intellect (1895) as Anonymous in UK and as by Machiavelli Colin Clout in the USA – is remarkable for the range of associations it evokes in its recounting of the tragic life of a "monkey". The narrative clearly describes a chimpanzee-like creature which has been brought to conscious life by a rich human ...

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 and one Semiprozine Hugo for his self-produced news magazine, Ansible (which see). His one ...

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