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Today most things called science fiction are either fantasy or some other genre entirely, but I was introduced to the classic and pulp works, rather different to today's offerings.
I cherish my 1979 Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction. Gollancz, long associated with SF, have placed the third edition of this encyclopaedia online- Science Fiction Encyclopaedia (USA) and for convenience I will add their search box at the bottom of this page. Almost the same content but from the UK is Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction (UK) most of whose links go to the US site but the Recent Deaths pages are UK based.
But now onto my experiences and some interesting SF links:-

My introduction to Science Fiction came in the late 1950's with the juvenile books by Angus MacVicar (the Lost Planet series) and E C Eliott (Kemlo stories). A watercolour I painted at primary school for Martin Magnus, Planet Rover by William F Temple so impressed my teacher she took me and the painting to show the headmaster! Should I include the fantasy world of Hugh Lofting's Dr Dolittle here?

I quickly moved on to Galaxy Magazine and the Ace paperbacks, and onward from there. So first, the written word element....

There were a number of British science fiction magazines that I started reading from around 1962, (including New Worlds under the editorship of John Carnell, and Peter Hamilton's Nebula) and also bought some older ones from market stalls.
At this time I enjoyed reading the short stories of F G Rayer. Not too long after, the British SF magazine market went all new-wave and obscure (Michael Moorcock took over editorship of New Worlds), and stopped buying the stories that I enjoyed, so by the end of the sixties I had stopped buying what British SF mags remained, as I think many others did. Fortunately the classic SF story continued to be welcome in the several SF magazines from America which were available here.
Due to an interest in amateur radio, I made contact with my first SF Author, radio amateur F G Rayer who died in July 1981. It would be nice to have his works collected, and I did try to offer some on the internet to mark the 30th anniversary of his death but negotiations with his executors led nowhere. From 2015 others have been placing his work online- by mid 2017 88% of his SF work! Also quite a lot of his work is available from Amazon Marketplace as second hand SF magazines. There is an article regarding himself and SF: Space Diversions by F G Rayer from 1953 (note: this link is to an image, not text).
Read George's writing

An exhaustive bibliography of some SF authors but with good detail is at ISFDB


Read Project Gutenberg SF texts - they have a SF Bookshelf listing SF books available.
A short sample SF authors available on Project Gutenberg are:
Marion Zimmer Bradley,     John W Campbell,     Ray Cummings,    H Beam Piper,     Murray Leinster,     Andre Norton
Alan E Nourse,    Lester del Rey,    Robert Sheckley,    Edward E (Doc) Smith,    Jules Verne,     H G Wells,    Robert H Wilson

The complete works of Sydney Fowler Wright || Wayback archived copy of SFW site, which is often down.

There is an extensive bibliography available at Center for the Study of Science Fiction.
Useful introduction to Science Fiction from wikipedia.


My next involvement with science fiction was through film, and a move from fantasies such as tom thumb (all lower case of course) to the more serious material, with George Pals Time Machine. Next we look at films...

The boundary between tv and film is now quite blurred. An excellent introductory article on film and science fiction is at Wikipedia.


Naturally I was there for the first television showings of Doctor Who, Space Patrol (the puppet series), Star Trek, Out of this World (wikipedia), Out of the Unknown (wikipedia), and the others of the era. So television...

Wikipedia has a good article about SF on TV.


STAR TREK
Currently (tm) CBS Studios Inc.
I watched many classic SF tv programs on first run, including Doctor Who and Star Trek. When a Star Trek convention was held in nearby Manchester in 1992, we obviously went along to see what it was all about. There were no actors present so we spent most of our time watching the new American shows that the BBC were not yet showing. Also at this event I made my first contact with Japanese Anime.

There have been a number of extensions to the original Classic trek, including a number of "official" paperback books. More recently there have been several fan made animated and live action shows made- of varying quality it has to be admitted. However I can recommend the youtube-available Star Trek Continues which has a very professional approach including some original Classic and TNG actors and some very famous sf-genre guest actors. The engineer is played by Jimmy Doohan's son. The storylines seem to be taking a classic episode and then continuing the plot - what next? sort of thing. Take a look.

BABYLON 5
1995 was the first Babylon 5 convention in Britain, held in Manchester - so we went along and enjoyed meeting with jms (Joe) the creator. Michael O'Hare had left the show by this stage but was there, in Manchester, reading poetry - not a hint of his problems which led to his departure from the show. Also present was Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who just happened to agree to appear in B5 whilst she was there in Manchester, and indeed she did make an episode of B5.

jmsNews has archived ALL of jms news posts where he discussed the writing and production of the show in searchable form. Joe has now moved away from usenet onto Facebook.
The Lurkers Guide although long a dormant web site still has a great deal of info. Here is the preferred B5 episode viewing order.


Radio has been an important source for science fiction drama, but my own involvement has only been quite recent, with the new availability of so many old time radio shows - I have some links for free downloads on my music web page - towards the bottom under Listen to...
Also, otr.com has a useful intro page to science fiction on the radio with direct links to mp3 files to download.

The concept of the SPACE MARINE is a long established one in the SF genre going back to 1932, and a certain company throwing its weight around in 2013 to prevent publication of an SF book about Space Marines (generic term) on the grounds it owns a trademark on the term just goes to prove how immoral and wrong trademark law is - and how unethical said company is. And why commercial lawyers should be outlawed. Readers of the late Robert Heinliens works will appreciate the irony.
Read these stories which include the term (from Gutenberg): A Tom Corbett space adventure from 1954 by Carey Rockwell uses Space Marine (with capitals) in Treachery in Outer Space - ten usages. From 1955, same series, Sabotage in Space - 16 usages.
From 1962, H Beam Piper's lovely story of Little Fuzzy - capitalised, one usage and also The Cosmic Computer from Ace in 1964.
From 1961, Star Hunter by Andre Norton, published by Ace Books: Star Hunter- one usage, lower case.
SF Encyclopedia Please enter a search term.
NOTE: Their results page returns 10 items, and the page forward requires javascript.

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