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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 24 January 2022
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Evans, E Everett

(1893-1958) US sf fan and author, who began to publish relatively late in life, his first story of genre interest being "Perfection" for The Vortex #2 in 1947, and who had mixed success, though there is no doubt of the affection in which other Californian sf writers and fans held him, as evinced in the many tributes to him – from writers such as E E "Doc" Smith and A E van Vogt – that were included in a compilation of his macabre fantasy stories, Food for Demons: The E Everett Evans ...

Collins, Warwick

(1948-2013) South African-born UK biologist and author, mostly of Technothrillers like the Challenge sequence of Near Future adventures set mainly at sea and comprising Challenge (1990), New World (1991) and Death of an Angel (1993). Of greater sf interest is Computer One (1993; with new intro 1998), whose depiction of a Computer-run world, inhabited by humans too much at leisure, gives off early hints of the tangle of motifs now common in tales depicting the imminence of the Singularity. The ...

Tenkū no shiro Laputa

Japanese animated film (1986; vt Laputa: Castle in the Sky; Castle in the Sky; Laputa: The Flying Island). Studio Ghibli. Directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki. Voice cast includes Kotoe Hatsui, Mayumi Tanaka, Minori Terada and Keiko Yokozawa. 126 minutes. Colour. / This film is inspired by the flying Island of Laputa in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726; rev 1735). In some countries "Laputa" is absent from the film's title, due to its Spanish meaning (of which Swift was well ...

Porta, Antonio

Pseudonym of Italian poet and author Leo Paolazzi (1935-1989), whose sf novel, Il re del maggazino (1978; trans Lawrence R Smith as The King of the Storeroom 1992), follows the travels and ruminations of its dying protagonist as he traverses a distant Near Future Italy ravaged by Ecological degradation, a Dystopia in the last throes of terminal dissolution. At the end of the tale, hints of a redemptive return of a pre-industrial natural order are mooted, cautiously. [JC]

Absurdist SF

The word "absurdist" became fashionable as a literary term after its consistent use by the French author and essayist Albert Camus (1913-1960) to describe fictions set in worlds where we seem at the mercy of incomprehensible systems. These systems may work as metaphors of the human mind – outward manifestations of what J G Ballard means when he uses the term Inner Space – or they may work as representations of a cruelly arbitrary external world, in which our expectations of rational ...

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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