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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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Mars Attacks!

Film (1996). Warner Bros. Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Jonathan Gems, based on the "Mars Attacks" series of Topps trading cards (1962). Cast includes Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Jim Brown, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Michael J Fox, Lukas Haas, Tom Jones, Jack Nicholson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Martin Short and Rod Steiger. 106 minutes. Colour. / This anarchic Satire chronicles a Martian Invasion of our planet. When a fleet of flying saucers (see UFOs) is first ...

Slobodkin, Louis

(1903-1975) US illustrator and author who is perhaps best known for his many picture books (none are listed here). Of sf interest is the Space Ship series beginning with The Space Ship Under the Apple Tree (1952), designed for younger readers within what would now be thought of as the Young Adult market. Young Eddie, a pleasant-tempered boy scout, meets a young Alien who disguises his Spaceship so the two can travel around the world and learn things. [JC]

Davis, Russell

(1970-    ) US author, editor and publisher in many genres whose pseudonyms include David Cian and Christopher Tracy; he has edited a number of anthologies, most in collaboration with Martin H Greenberg. In his sf novel Touchless (2002) the protagonist, whose dead wife is in Cryonic storage, is offered the choice (reminiscent of an episode in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence [2001]) between having her restored for one day as a Virtual Reality Avatar, with no hope of further ...

Romanek, Mark

(1959-    ) US filmmaker whose writing and directing debut Static (1985), about a smalltown teenager who invents (see Invention) a television which purports to see heaven, was a cult hit in the UK; he was taken up by musician Robyn Hitchcock (son of Raymond Hitchcock), his videos for whom led to an acclaimed body of work in that medium after his career in features stalled. He returned to cinema with the crime drama One Hour Photo (2002), and to sf with Never Let Me Go ...


In the same way that theories of Evolution provide an imaginative context for sf stories about the Origin of Man and Life on Other Worlds, so they govern attitudes to superhumans. There is a significant difference, though, between Darwin-inspired images of a "fitter" species and images inspired by Lamarckian and Bergsonian ideas of "creative evolution", in which the emergence of a superman might be the result of humankind's fervent desire to become something finer. Also of some relevance ...

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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