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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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Film (1966). Paramount/Joel/Gibraltar. Directed by John Frankenheimer. Written by Lewis John Carlino, from Seconds (1963) by David Ely. Cast includes Will Geer, Rock Hudson, Salome Jens and John Randolph. 106 minutes. Black and white. / A middle-aged businessman (Randolph) pays a large sum to have his death faked and his youth restored by futuristic surgery (see Medicine), so that he can start a new life in a new body (Hudson). Tiring of the young swingers he now moves with, he learns it is ...

Sobol, Ken

(1938-2010) US author and screenwriter, in Canada from 1974 onwards. Sobol is probably best known for his numerous scripts for animated and live-action Television programmes. These include contributions to the short animated feature A Cosmic Christmas (1977) for Nelvana/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a fable in which a boy encounters three visitors from outer space who seek the meaning of Christmas; Sobol's book adaptation is A Cosmic Christmas (1979 chap). Further scripts were for the sf ...

Invisible Man, The

1. Film (1933). Universal. Directed by James Whale. Cast includes with small roles for Walter Brennan, John Carradine, E E Clive, William Harrigan, Una O'Connor, Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart and Henry Travers. Written by R C Sherriff and Philip Wylie, based on The Invisible Man (1897) by H G Wells. 71 minutes. Black and white. / As in all of Whale's sf films, Wells's tale is conveyed swiftly, with fluid expressionist chiaroscuro effects tellingly evident from the first shot, which – ...

Mason, Eveleen Laura

(1838-1914) US author whose Utopia, Hiero-Salem: The Vision of Peace [for full title see Checklist below] (1889), presents spiritualist doctrines within an sf frame: the eponymous communitarian settlement in Wisconsin is inhabited by the "dualized", human beings who have shed all male or female characteristics (see Feminism; Gender). Mason's later works – most vividly An Episode in the Doings of the Dualized (1898) – promulgate the wisdom of this androgyny. [JC]

Stewart, Ian

(1945-    ) UK mathematician, currently Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick; he was elected to the Royal Society in 2001. His sf novels Wheelers (2000) and Heaven (2004), together with the nonfiction The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) and other popular-science works of sf interest, were written in collaboration with Jack Cohen – whom see for further discussion. The Wheelers series prequel Oracle (2021), opening on ...

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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