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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.

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Agnew, Ewan

(1893-1930) UK politician and playwright who was in active service during World War One, and who may have been blackballed from The Reform Club by E M Forster, but seems otherwise unnoted. In his sf play, The Shingling of Jupiter: A Fantastic Play for Serious People in Three Acts (1924 chap), Major Smith, a Mysterious Stranger from the eponymous planet who is on a spying mission to Earth, upsets a segment of English society; but the heroine of the piece, after going there, finds life on Jupiter ...

West, Alroy

Pseudonym of UK author Michael Roy Hastings (1907-1980), who was born Herbert Roy Higgins, but normally wrote adventure thrillers as by Michael Hastings, taking that name by deed poll in 1939; he also published some thrillers as by Gabriel Hythe. As West, he wrote at least one tale of some sf interest (and perhaps several); one of these, The Black Matador (1937), describes the effects of the Invention of a device capable of blocking all electronic Communications. [JC]

Arreola, Juan José

(1918-2001) Mexican author and academic whose full name was Juan José Arreola Zúñiga. Best known for his fantastic short stories, especially the Kafkaesque "El guardagujas" ["The Switchman"] (7 May 1950 México en la Cultura), he is considered one of Mexico's premier experimental short story authors and one of the masters, alongside Jorge Luis Borges, of the essay-story. Borges also described his work with one word: "freedom. Freedom of an unlimited imagination, ...

Vesaas, Tarjei

(1897-1970) Norwegian author who wrote in the version or dialect of Norwegian known as nynorsk; he is perhaps best known for a tale of Nordic Fantastika, where the near-supernatural affinity of two young girls, whose relationship is Doppelganger-intense, is echoed by the nearby, eponymous, gravity-defying ice-palace, ostensibly a waterfall, whose ultimate collapse has chthonic echoes. [JC]

Millet, F D

(1846-1912) US painter, sculptor, journalist and author whose Capillary Crime and Other Stories (coll 1892) contains several mystery tales with sf explanations. He was one of four authors of sf – the others are John Jacob Astor, Jacques Futrelle and W T Stead – who went down with the Titanic. [JC]

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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