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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.

Site updated on 20 June 2022
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Knittel, John

(1891-1970) Indian-born Swiss screenwriter and author, in the UK between 1908 and 1921, subsequently in Switzerland; at some point before he began publishing (always initially in English) after World War One, he gave up his birth name, Herman Emanuel Knittel. His first novel, Aaron West (1921), is a Robinsonade set on a tropical Island, where a yearning man seeks Transcendence. Nile Gold: A Legend of Modern Egypt (1929) is a fantasy of Identity Transfer; some of the tales assembled in The Asp ...

Roberts, Charles G D

(1860-1943) Canadian poet and author, important in Canada's literary history, prolific in several modes from 1880 to 1941, brother of Theodore Goodridge Roberts; the posthumous collapse of his reputation came about partly because of the unyielding conservatism of his poetry (now forgotten except for warhorses), but also because his racism about Native Canadians (and others) has worn poorly. Earth's Enigmas (coll 1896; rev 1903) contains several supernatural tales. Among his many works focusing ...

Cassius Minor

Pseudonym of UK solicitor and author Harold Northway Robbins (1874-1973), who surfaces as the acknowledged author of the introduction (but in fact of the entire text) of The Finding of Mercia (1909), a Utopia run by strict Christians in favour of state ownership but not Money. [JC]

Skinner, B F

Working name of Burrhus Frederick Skinner (1904-1990), US psychologist and author whose vehemently argued (and as vigorously refuted) brand of behaviourism dominated that version of Psychology for many years in America, and provides the basic tenets for his one published work of fiction, Walden Two (1948), which depicts a Utopia whose inhabitants grow up as successful experiments in behavioural engineering on lines consistent with the work of his mentor John B Watson. Though the tale is ...

McGuire, Patrick L

(1949-    ) US researcher whose Princeton doctoral thesis was revised as a book, Red Stars: Political Aspects of Soviet Science Fiction (1985), one of the more useful sources on sf in Russia, although carrying the story only as far as 1976. McGuire translated Vozvrashchenie (Polden'. 22-i vek) (1962; rev as Polden', XXII vek (Vozvrashchenie) 1967; the latter trans as Noon: 22nd Century 1978 US) by Arkady and Boris Strugatski, and wrote the chapter on Russian sf in Anatomy of ...

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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