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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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Stockhausen, Karlheinz

(1928-2007). Avant-garde classical composer, revered and reviled in equal measure for his uncompromising musical experiments. From the 1950s on Stockhausen developed his own style, challenging standard definitions of quantities like tone, scale and rhythm, utilizing aleatory and formulaic methodologies, and happy to work with electronic and other unconventional instruments: for instance: 1992's Helikopter-Streichquartett is scored "for string quartet and four helicopters" (see Postmodernism and ...

Capricorn One

Film (1977). Capricorn One Associates/Associated General/ITC. Directed by Peter Hyams. Written by Hyams. Cast includes James Brolin, Elliott Gould, Hal Holbrook, O J Simpson, Brenda Vaccaro and Sam Waterston. 124 minutes. Colour. / The premise of this Paranoia movie – made at a time, in the wake of Watergate, when secret-political-conspiracy films had become commonplace – is that a supposedly manned mission to Mars cannot carry a crew because of a malfunction in the life-support ...

More, Sir Thomas

(1478-1535) UK amateur actor, translator (of Lucian and others), lawyer, diplomat, politician and author. The son of a barrister, he was first educated for the Church, but soon decided upon a secular career. His legal training involved arguing both sides of any issue, a technique that would reappear in much of his writing, especially in Part 1 of Utopia. He advanced rapidly in public office, becoming both a Member of Parliament and Under-Sherriff of London in 1510, and occupying several posts ...

Murphy, Andrew C

(?   -    ) US author of Steel Sky (2003), a Post-Holocaust Dystopia set Underground in an imprisoning Keep, where the surviving population undergoes enforced estrangements. It feels like the End of the World. [JC]


This thematic term is chiefly associated with Comics, but the concept is widespread in general sf. Numerous Superheroes are effectively defined by their superpowers and, very often, corresponding weaknesses. Superman, a major twentieth-century archetype, has a large (though varying with character rewrites) assortment of special powers supposedly resulting from his Alien origin, the lesser Gravity of Earth compared to his homeworld Krypton, and the differing radiation of our Sun: the usual ...

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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