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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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Pollotta, Nick

Working name of US author Nicholas Angelo Pollotta (1954-2013), most of whose work in sf and other genres was under pseudonyms or House Names, including James Axler, Jack Hopkins and Don Pendleton, but who began publishing sf with Illegal Aliens (1989), with Phil Foglio providing extensive illustrations for this comic novel about a street gang in New York which hamstrings the attempts of Aliens to manipulate our planet. The Satellite Night series, beginning with Satellite Night News (1993) as ...

Whitnall, Harold O

(1877-1945) US academic and author, whose nonfiction focused on prehistory, with popular studies of early flora and fauna. His Hunter of the Caverns (1939) is a Prehistoric SF tale set in southern France about 30,000 years ago. [JC]


An example of speculative Terminology, the term taken from Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog; used initially to describe tiny self-healing Robots bred organically from (as an instance) frog stem cells, but used more widely in the third decade of the twenty-first century to describe any robot bred organically. In this encyclopedia, the term Android is usefully restricted to humanoid-shaped artificial beings. Androids are therefore xenobots, but the reverse is not true: xenobots need not be ...

Card Game

Term used to describe a form of Game played with physical cards, generally made from paper, cardboard or plastic, and marked with symbols that make them part of a set. Playing cards appear to have been invented in ancient China at some point between the ninth and thirteenth Centuries CE; some confusion arises from the fact that the earliest examples seem to have been "domino cards" marked with the possible results of throwing a pair of six-sided dice, rather than sets employed for actual Card ...

From the Earth to the Moon

Film (1958). Waverly/RKO. Directed by Byron Haskin. Written by Robert Blees, James Leicester, adapted from Jules Verne's De la terre à la lune (1865) and Autour de la lune (1870), the two published together in English translation as From the Earth to the Moon (1873). Cast includes Joseph Cotton, Deborah Paget and George Sanders. 100 minutes. Colour. / Using a new explosive, a projectile carrying human passengers is fired at the Moon from a huge cannon. Paget plays a pretty stowaway. ...

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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