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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 23 May 2022
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Mad Max

Film (1979). Mad Max Pty. Directed by George Miller. Written by James McCausland, Miller, based on a story by Miller. Cast includes Tim Burns, Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Byrne and Joanne Samuel. 100 minutes, cut to 91 minutes. Colour. / This low-budget exploitation movie builds up to the vigilante-style revenge of spaced-out policeman Max Rockatansky (Gibson) – who is almost as disturbed as his antagonists – on the motorcycle gang that killed his wife and child. It proved to be the ...


A common item of Terminology, both inside and outside sf: UFO is an acronym for Unidentified Flying Object. In the first edition of this encyclopedia in 1979, the subject of ufology was discussed under the heading "Flying Saucers". The change of title reflects the fact that ufology itself has changed over subsequent decades, and may now be thought of almost as three separate disciplines or interpretations of the phenomenon, one of which (the extraterrestrial hypothesis) despite legitimate ...

Wank, Elihu S

Pseudonym of UK author A Gordon Jones (?   -?   ) whose How I Discovered the North Pole [for full title see Checklist below] (1909) is a Parody of Polar expedition narratives, including the use of a prehistoric mammoth (see Lost World; Prehistoric SF) in the role of elephant, and the capture of giant whelks. Sherlock Holmes makes a brief appearance. [JC]

Perrotta, Tom

(1961-    ) US screenwriter and author, most of whose fiction – like Election (1998), Little Children (2004) and The Abstinence Teacher (2007) – is nonfantastic. He is of sf interest for The Leftovers (2011), for which he also collaborated on the screenplay for the Television series The Leftovers (2014-2017). The basic tale is Equipoisal between supernatural fiction [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] and sf in its portrayal of a very-Near Future ...

Aandahl, Vance

(1942-    ) US teacher and author who began to publish short stories with "It's a Great Big Wonderful Universe" for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in November 1960, and who remained active as an author of short fiction until the mid-1990s, publishing at least 30 tales over that period, most of them for F&SF. His work is noted for its wry ingenuity, and several stories have been anthologized. No collection has been published. / More recently, Vance ...

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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