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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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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 ...

O'Donnell, Peter

(1920-2010) UK Comics writer and author who entered the comics field in 1936, his work being usually nonfantastic, although he wrote a number of notable scripts from 1953 to 1966 for the Science Fantasy strip Garth. He is of particular sf interest for Modesty Blaise, a newspaper strip which ran in the London Evening Standard from 13 May 1963 until 11 April 2001, when he retired; this was drawn by various artists including Jim Holdaway (from the outset until his death in 1970) and Enrique Romero ...

Platts, W Carter

(1864-1944) UK author whose spoof sf collection, Up-To-To-Morrow; Or, Mr Chumson's Experiments (coll of linked stories 1903), depicts a series of Inventions, most of them sf, and their comical failure. [JC]

Jong, Erica

(1942-    ) US poet and author, best known for the Feminist energy of her first novel, Fear of Flying (1971). Her only tale of genre interest, Serenissima: A Novel of Venice (1987; vt Shylock's Daughter: A Novel of Love in Venice 2003), is a Timeslip tale with some sf language inattentively buttressing the premise. The protagonist finds herself haunted amid the playfully sketched glitterati of the Venice film festival – where she has arrived to star in a film version ...

Payn, James

(1830-1898) UK author and editor whose 100+ books cover a wide variety of genres, his sf being comparatively inconspicuous. The Cruise of the Anti-Torpedo (1871 chap) anonymous is a typical Future-War tale, one of many written in direct response to George T Chesney's The Battle of Dorking (May 1871 Blackwood's Magazine; 1871 chap) (see Battle of Dorking), in this case featuring a new Weapon which turns the tide against the Germans (see Battle of Dorking). Along with the comic "The Fatal ...

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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