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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
Sponsor of the day: The Telluride Institute

Scientific Errors

Scientific errors in sf are not to be confused with Imaginary Science, where the author invents the science and tries to make it plausible, nor with Pseudoscience, where the author adheres to some alternative quasiscientific system unrecognized by the majority of the scientific community. Scientific errors are here taken to mean plain mistakes. / Sf in the days of the Pulp magazines was very much more prone to error than it is now, and it was for the absurdity of so much of the science, at ...

Xia Jia

Pen-name of Wang Yao (1984-    ), a Chinese author who trained initially as a physicist, before drifting into the humanities as a postgraduate. Her short stories have attracted critical acclaim from the outset, beginning with her early Yinhe Award recipient "Guan Yaojing de Pingzi" (April 2004 Kehuan Shijie trans Linda Rui Feng as "The Demon-Enslaving Flask" November 2012 Renditions). A work of Fabulation, in which the Scientist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) is offered a ...

Macnee, Patrick

(1922-2015) UK actor (a US citizen from 1982) best known for playing the supremely suave, stylish and very British secret agent John Steed who with a succession of tough but glamorous female partners is pitted against numerous sf threats and ploys in The Avengers (1961-1969) and its successor The New Avengers (1976-1977). He receives sole cover credit for the Avengers Ties Deadline (1965) and Dead Duck (1966), but may well have had little or no input into texts understood to have been ghosted ...

Elson, Peter

(1947-1998) UK illustrator active during the 1980s and 1990s painting Hard SF covers depicting space hardware in the manner popularized by Chris Foss. He received his formal art education at Ealing Art College, then spent several years as a jobbing artist before, in 1975, winning an art competition mounted by the UK's Science Fiction Monthly. Thereafter, his sf cover art was very much in demand, his first cover probably being that for the 1976 Arrow paperback reprint of Philip K Dick's Vulcan's ...

4D Man

Film (1959; vt The Evil Force UK; vt Master of Terror US). Fairview/Universal. Coproduced and directed by Irwin Shortess Yeaworth Jr. Written by Theodore Simonson, Cy Chermak, from an idea by Jack H Harris. Cast includes James Congdon, Robert Lansing and Lee Meriwether. 85 minutes. Colour. / A small, interesting film made by the same producer/director team, Jack H Harris and Yeaworth, that had already made The Blob (1958). Lansing plays a scientist who uses his brother's research on the ...

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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