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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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Disraeli, Benjamin

(1804-1881) UK politician and author born Benjamin D'Israeli, Conservative Member of Parliament from 1837 and – in 1868 and 1874-1880 – Prime Minister. In his almost-forgotten youthful Fantastic Voyage, The Voyage of Captain Popanilla (1828) published anonymously, the eponymous captain, who is an innocent savage from a prelapsarian (ie pre-missionary) South Seas Utopia, voyages to the land of Vraibleusia, which pejoratively resembles England, and whose capital Hubbabub clearly guys ...

Deus Ex Machina

Videogame (1984). Automata UK. Designed by Mel Croucher. Platforms: Spectrum (1984); MSX (1985); C64 (1986). / Deus Ex Machina is a member of no recognizable school of Videogame design, though its anarchic ethos can be seen in many other British games of the time. It is, rather, the computer game reconceived as concept album (see SF Music); it shares more with the work of such musicians as Frank Zappa or David Bowie than it does with that of any contemporary game designer. The game is set ...

Marshall, James Scott

(?   -?   ) US author of a Utopia, The Planet Mars and its Inhabitants: A Psychic Revelation: by Iros Urides (a Martian) Written Down and Edited by J L Kennon (1922) as by Iros Urides [see also Checklist below], which in lightly fictionalized terms describes an ideal society on Mars, with advanced Technology and Transportation powered by electricity. Authorship of this text, which is copyright Mabel J McKean, has also been credited to J L Kennon. / Though it ...


A common item of Terminology, both inside and outside sf: UFO is an acronym for Unidentified Flying Object. In the first edition of this encyclopedia in 1979, the subject of ufology was discussed under the heading "Flying Saucers". The change of title reflects the fact that ufology itself has changed over subsequent decades, and may now be thought of almost as three separate disciplines or interpretations of the phenomenon, one of which (the extraterrestrial hypothesis) despite legitimate ...

Snell, Gordon

(?   -    ) UK broadcaster, screenwriter and author, mostly for younger children; for a youngish Young Adult market he published an sf series, the undemanding Tom's Amazing Machine sequence beginning with Tom's Amazing Machine (1988), and featuring a talking Computer named Zenda. [JC]

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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