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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 18 September 2023
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A term devised by Alfred Hitchcock, who describes it at considerable length in François Truffaut's Le Cinéma Selon Hitchcock (1966; trans Helen G Scott as Hitchcock 1967), as an object whose loss – or rumours of whose existence – triggers the cast of a thriller or detective film into searching for it, or fighting for it, or running from it, but which has in fact little or no intrinsic meaning once the ...

Zager and Evans

US pop group comprising Denny Zager (1943-    ) and Rick Evans (1943-2018). The Platonic form of the one-hit-wonder, Zager and Evans topped both US and UK charts with their earnest anthem "In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" (1969) and never afterwards had another hit record. The song hops at 1010-year intervals from the title date through to the Far Future of the ninety-sixth century ("In the year 9595, I'm kinda wonderin' if Man ...

Henderson, Zenna

(1917-1983) US author and schoolteacher who frequently used her teaching experience in Arizona and elsewhere as a base for her stories; perhaps significantly, given her treatment of Aliens as emblems of our better selves, during World War Two she taught interned Japanese-Americans in a relocation camp. Her first story was "Come on, Wagon!" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction – the magazine with which she is mostly ...

Engel, Lyle Kenyon

(1915-1986) Canadian editor, book packager and author who edited Space Science Fiction Magazine and Tales of the Frightened, each magazine having two issues dated Spring and August 1957. The latter was a Tie to a short-lived syndicated Radio show in which Boris Karloff read five-minute horror stories written by Michael ...

Gask, Arthur

(1869-1951) UK-born dental surgeon and author who began his latter career in the early 1921, after his 1920 move to Australia. Among his many detective thrillers are two tales of some sf interest, The Red Paste Murders (1924; vt Murder in the Night 1932), the eponymous chemical being of borderline-sf composition, and The Fall of a Dictator (1939), which ventures into the Near Future. [JC]

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. ...

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