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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 17 August 2022
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Cameron, Verney Lovett

(1844-1894) UK naval officer, explorer and author; after Henry Stanley had found David Livingstone in central Africa (and lost him), Cameron mounted a second expedition, which found the explorer's body. He was subsequently the first European to cross Africa east to west. In contemporary terms, his explorations were comparatively enlightened: he did not shoot animals, except for food; and he did not murder Africans. Most of his early work consists of nonfiction descriptions of his travels; after ...

Drinkard, William H

(?   -    ) US politician (active in 1970s Georgia), real estate developer and author of the sf novel Elom (2008), in which it is discovered that the eponymous planet is a kind of experimental Zoo where samples of various species – including Homo sapiens – have been abducted (see UFOs) from their native environments and left to evolve, under strictly controlled conditions (see Secret Masters) which at points seem to have created something like a ...

Evans, Henry Ridgely

(1861-1949) US amateur magician, journalist and author, much of whose career was spent investigating (and in general debunking) occult lore and religious bodies, including Theosophy. Edgar Allan Poe and Baron von Kempelen's Chess-Playing Automaton (1939) analyses the famous chess-playing machine (operated in fact by a human inside the apparatus), which Edgar Allan Poe speculated about in an essay, "Maelzel's Chess Player" (April 1836 Southern Literary Messenger). Evans is of some sf interest ...

Harryhausen, Ray

(1920-2013) US special-effects supervisor, long based in the UK, associated with many sf and fantasy films and the pioneering use of stop-motion animation. As a boy his main interests were sculpture and palaeontology. The desire to see his own clay figures move on the screen, aroused by King Kong (1933), stimulated his interest in photography and special effects. While Willis H O'Brien, who had animated King Kong, was preparing to make Mighty Joe Young (1949), Harryhausen approached him, showed ...

White, Alan

(1924-    ) UK author, almost exclusively of thrillers, often in a war setting, his best known novel probably being A Long Day's Dying (1962); his several pseudonyms, which include James Fraser, Alec Haigh, Joe Balham and others, have been used only for nonfantastic works. Of sf interest is Black Alert (1985), a Near Future Technothriller in which a renegade soldier, who has gained control of a military Spaceship, attempts to instigate World War Three by bombing London. ...

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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