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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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Ballantine Books

US publishing company founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine (1916-1995), who had previously helped found Bantam Books, and his wife Betty Ballantine (1919-2019); in 2002 Betty Ballantine received an SFWA President's Award to honour the fruits of their long career. For the first six months, at the beginning of that career, they ran Ballantine Books from their apartment. Although it was a general publisher, an important priority was the prestigious sf list, the first of its kind in paperback, with ...

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 ...

Greene, Joseph

(1914-1990) US author, editor and author for Comics from the late 1930s, scripting various series, including (it has been claimed) various DC Comics Superhero productions such as Superman and Wonder Woman; much of his work was either anonymous, or under variations of his own name or pseudonyms such as Joe Green, Joseph Lawrence, Lawrence Vert, Joseph Verdi and Larry Verdi. He is of sf interest primarily for his involvement in various versions of Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, which see for further ...

Bijo to Ekitai-ningen

Film (1958; vt The H-Man; vt Beautiful Women and the Hydrogen Man). Toho. Director Inoshiro Honda. Written by Takeshi Kimura, based on a story by Hideo Kaijo. Cast includes Akihiko Hirata, Kenji Sahara, Koreya Senda and Yumi Shirakawa. 87 minutes, cut to 79 minutes. Colour. / This Japanese film is, coincidentally, similar to The Blob (also 1958) but is more ingenious and sinister. Fishermen examining a drifting freighter find only empty suits of clothing – empty except for the ...

Torture

The darker side of sf and fantasy has produced many inventive torture devices, such as the fantasticated apparatus in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" (in The Gift, anth dated 1843 but 1842) and Franz Kafka's The Penal Colony (1919 chap; trans 1933). The torments of the Spanish Inquisition, as luridly imagined in Poe's story, are revisited in Patricia Anthony's God's Fire (1997). George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) knowingly tailors the means of torture to the individual ...

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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