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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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Threlfall, T R

(1852-circa 1933) UK politician, trade unionist and author; elected president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in 1885, serving in various positions over the next decade or so. He failed in more than one election campaign, the last as a Lib-Lab candidate for Kirkdale in 1892, and subsequently focused on writing. The Sword of Allah (1899), which features a Scottish soldier of fortune at Medina, prefigures his sf novel, The Great Magician (1901), in which a British soldier, converting to Islam ...

Soft Sciences

In academic slang and sf Terminology, the soft sciences are in the main the social sciences, those which deal mainly with human affairs – very often the sciences that require little or no hardware for their carrying out. (Most would claim Biology and subsidiary fields – e.g., Clones and Genetic Engineering – as hard sciences [see Hard SF].) Theme entries in this volume which deal directly or indirectly with soft sciences include Anthropology, Ecology, Economics, Evolution, ...

Tinckner, Mary Agnes

(1833-1907) US author whose work of sf interest is San Salvador (1892), a Utopia set in a secret Italian location (see Ruritania) where, under a wise and Christ-embodying monarch whose ancestry is of Lost-Race antiquity, citizens manufacture their beautiful but practical wares by hand, after the model recently promulgated in William Morris's News from Nowhere (1890). [JC]


Highly informal UK fan group of the 1970s, several of whose members later became sf professionals. Based in London, Ratfandom and its satellites produced some of the most literate, witty and scurrilous Fanzines in that fertile period for UK Fandom; these included Big Scab (1974, 3 issues) edited by John Brosnan, Macrocosm (1971-1972, 3 issues) edited by Robert P Holdstock, Magic Pudding (1973, 1 issue) edited by Malcolm Edwards, Seamonsters (1978-1979, 4 issues) edited by Simone Walsh, Stop ...


Film (1956; vt Sora no Daikaijū Radon ["Giant Monster of the Sky, Radon"]; vt, outside Japan, Rodan). Toho. Directed by Inoshiro Honda. Written by Takeshi Kimura and Takeo Murata, based on a story by Takashi Kuronomura. Cast includes Akihiko Hirata, Kenji Sahara and Yumi Shirkawa. 79 minutes. Colour. / This film, the first Japanese Kaiju Monster Movie in colour, is from the same team that produced Gojira (vt Godzilla). A giant pterodactyl hatches in a mine (and eats giant dragonfly ...

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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