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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 10 January 2022
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Verhoeven, Paul

(1938-    ) Dutch filmmaker whose long career began in 1960 when he was still a student in Leiden, where he studied to Master's level in mathematics and physics. He refined his craft through the sixties, particularly in a documentary produced during his national service and on the iconic Dutch television series Floris (1968), where he made a star of the young Rutger Hauer. In the seventies he emerged as a major, if notorious, director of provocative sexually-themed features ...

Dixon, Dougal

(1947-    ) UK geologist, palaeontologist and author whose After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981) provides a quasifactual view of a Far-Future Earth in which Homo sapiens, having exhausted the planet and become extinct, gives way (in a fashion reminiscent of the work of Olaf Stapledon) to succeeding forms of life adapted by Evolution to new-found ecological niches: bats, for example, become highly diversified, including flightless land-walking species. The New Dinosaurs: ...

Silvis, Randall

(1950-    ) US teacher and author, most of whose work is nonfantastic, though he has been identified as a Magic Realist for some of the tales assembled in The Luckiest Man in the World (coll 1984), as well as In a Town Called Mundomuerto (2007) and Flying Fish (2012 chap); the latter two titles both implicate mortals with mythical figures from the sea, in title being odorous with chthonic barings of flesh. Mysticus (1999) more complexly mixes modes to some Equipoisal effect, ...

Box, Muriel

(1905-1991) UK playwright, scriptwriter and director, often in collaboration with her husband, Sydney Box (1907-1983), who (because of the resistance to women directors) sometimes served as her beard; they shared an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Seventh Veil (1946). Her sf novel, The Big Switch (1964), is a Sleeper Awakes tale whose handsome male protagonist is revived into a world in which he is the only man (see Clichés; Sex). [JC]

Pinchin, Frank J

(1925-1990) UK research chemist and author. His first four sf novels, all as by Peter Dagmar, were not exceptional: Alien Skies (1962), Spykos 4: Strange Life-Forms on Unexplored Planets (1962; vt Spaceways 1973), Sands of Time (1963) – a fairly complex Time-Travel tale in which visitors from the future attempt to destroy a post-World War Three super-Computer, perhaps to avert a Future War – and Once in Time (1963; vt Mind Probe 1973). Mars 314 (1970), under his own name, renders ...

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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